Tuesday, April 8, 2008

69-117 Blog Question for April 9th, 2008

For our group tomorrow (you don't have to answer this until tomorrow but I put it up now anyways) we would like you to think about and comment on these three questions as our "big idea" blog questions. If you like, you can answer all three, or mix them together, or just answer one if you are short on time. This chapter has a lot of meaning and these are only some of the questions we came up with. There will be more in class, but these are the ones we just wouldn't have time for! Enjoy!

  • What do the Proles represent in modern and ancient societies? Will there always be a class of people like this?
  • Why does Winston find hope in the proles? Is he justified in this reasoning?
  • What has been lost in Winston's society that he finds in the crumbling quarters of the Proles (this is nothing specific, just philosophical ideas)? What does this say about society?

These questions need some time to mull over, so try to give a thoughtful and philosophical answer worthy of worldwide viewing!

Thanks,

Period 5, April 9th, 69-117 amazing group (A.K.A. Kristina, Hannah, Dawni, Morgan W)

P.S. I posted a question during spring break about Emmanuel Goldstein and no one answered so if you would like to answer that, I would be eternally grateful!

24 comments:

johnb said...

The Proles represent the lower class of the population. In 1984, the proles are those who work and have simple lives. The government does not worry about them as long as they are content, and they work.

In modern societies, the proles are the people who do the small jobs no one wants to do. They are the lower class, and they accept life as it is.

In ancient societies, the proles could either be, again, the lower class that does the small jobs no one else wanted to do, or they could be the slaves, but, either way, the government does not mind them as long as they are working.

katyj said...

The proles represent all those that are in poverty, and those that have been since the beginning of time.

Winston sees hope in the proles because "the party" does not see the proles as humans, and regardes them as below "the partys" interest. Winston knows that they really are as smart as every party member, and knows that if the proles were to rise up, "the party" would not be able to retain leadership of the country.

When Winstom walks through the area where the proles live, he sees that the proles are more human than most of the party members because they can show their true feelings in their faces, and can live a life of the kind that we live today, where thoughts are not a criminal act, and feelings are untainted.

katyj said...
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melissaz said...

While I have been reading this book, I have found that the proles are a very interesting aspect to this book; they really do add a lot to the plot. They, essentially, are the group of society that had been left abandoned because the Party can't control them. They truly are the last bit of hope, and Winston I believe is true in saying this. The proles are left by the Party, they are "animals" left to do what they please in their own world, not daring to enter the world of the Party. They don't have telescreens and they don't have the enforced rules of the Party. When Winston walks through the world of the Proles, it is obvious how those people aren't conforming; they have some form of free thought. Because they have some freedom, there is hope in them, but as of right now they are too consumed in their own world to care about rebelling. They truly are the only possible hope, but they have no personal prompt to make a change. They already have their own form of freedom, so why rebel when the Party doesn't even care about the proles?

I think the proles are a symbol of diversity and non-conformity. In every community there is some form of diversity; as in this book, it may be compressed but it is always lingering. The Party cannot, no matter how badly it wishes to, eliminate diversity completely.

The proles, as I have sad before have simply this, freedom. It's not like they have a wealthy community, they are intelligent, or anything of the sort; but they have the freedom. In a society where freedom and free thought is almost completely suppressed, this totally fascinates Winston the thought of being able to think and not have a telescreen watching you every moment of every day.

morgant said...

The Proles are the lower people in society. They are not very significant in the eyes of the government, and therefore are not watched much. I think there always will be a class of people like this.

Well, I already kind of answered this question, but the proles are viewed as insignificant in the eyes of the government, so they will be of little priority to the party. Like KatyJ says, if the proles were to rise up, the government wouldn't really be prepared for it. I do think Winston is justified in the reasoning.

I also agree with KatyJ on this one. When Winston is walking through, he realizes that the proles are just as human as everybody else, and they are just as much of a threat as everybody else. Since they are supposedly not watched much by the thought police, they have more of a chance of rising up and being rebellious. About society...it seems the government thinks that the lower people really aren't capable of anything, so they don't need to worry about them.

alexf said...

Hey, sorry I’m extremely short on time and my computer is being amazingly slow!! Anyways, I will answer number one:

I think the Proles obviously represent the minority in the society. In 1984 however, they represents the neglected people. They were neglected and, because of that, have grown to be how they have been looked upon. By this I mean, that I don’t think that they were necessarily as “dumb” as the society first thought they were, but as the years went on, they sunk to their expectations. Now, I don’t know any of this for sure, but I just get this feeling because Winston STILL has hope in them and this hope would have not been there if they always acted this way. I don’t know, but what do you guys think? Also, I do think that there will always be some sort of a minority, just not necessarily as neglected or looked down upon. I know that today we have minorities, but I don’t think that we lower our expectations for them.

Ryad said...

The proles represent the lower classes that is generally ignored and is treated like a flock of sheep.

Winston finds hope in the fact that they are ignored because it would be easier for them to revolt.

In the Proles quarters there is personality and thins that are there for no other purpose then to look good. He finds freedom to be how you are.

catem said...

Alright, I pretty much think that the first question has been covered by everyone else, (the proles are the lower, diverse, and looked down upon part of society); so I'll put my energy towards answering the last two questions.

I think that Winston finds hope in the proles, because they are so they live such different lives than the party. The proles are the last ties to prerevolution times, and therefore the only hope to bringing the customs and ideas of the past back to the present. Also, as Melissa mentioned, the proles are seen as inferior creatures, the party compares them to cattle. The element of supposed "animals" rebeling against the government would come as a total shock to the arogant party members, and might throw them off just long enough for the a new revolution to take place. So I do feel that Winston's hoeps are justified, however I think that the proles lack the motivation to rebel (at least in the current chapters of the book).

As for the last question, I kind touched upon this earlier, I believe that Winston finds the reassurance that his feeling that the past was better than the present in the proles. As I stated earlier, the porles are the last ties to the past. He finds that maybe the things that he thinks are lacking in his life might exist, and possibly those things may be atainable. I think that one of the main things that he thinks he finds is a little bit of emotion. Not irrational violence or happy violence, but a small amount of genuine feeling such as love, trust, anger, sadness, and so on.

Well, there's my take on the questions, feel free to add on or to argue my ideas.

mitchs said...

The Proles represent the poor, lower class in modern and ancient societies. Yes, there will always be a class like this, unless marxism is effectively implemented. But, most countries that try this end up with a large class of Proles and a few leaders at the top, much like the Soviet Union was.

Winston finds hope in the Proles because they are not under nearly as much surveillance as party members, and they have the sheer numbers to overthrow the party. He is justified in that reasoning, but there is one problem. The Proles don't care enough to overthrow the party. They only care about their own personal lives.

Winston find individuality in the crumbling quarters of the Proles. He finds people actually expressing how they feel instead of hiding their thoughts and emotions. He does not see this much because party members are under so much scrutiny.

mitchl. said...

Well almost everyone has commented on the proles being the poor and lower classes, and that they will always be around. I do agree with this like everyone else, that there are those people who don't succeed and those who do.
Winston finds hope in them because they are sort of the only ones able to converse with each other without being monitored everywhere they go. On the other hand, the proles won't rebel because they don't care or want to.

ryanm said...

I think that Winston sees hope in the proles because they are such a large caste of people. There are so many of them, if ALL of them chose to rebel, then Oceania would definately suffer until the rebellion was put down. I think Winston is justified in his hope, because if enough proles rufused to work, they would succeed in stopping the Party and Big Brother. Plus, the proles basically have unlimited freedom. If enough were supplied with weapons.........

maddieh said...

I think that Winston finds hope in the proles because he sees them as a possibility. He recognizes the power that they have if they only learned to become emotionally engaged in the world around them. They are not under the same rules as party members so they are essentially free, something Winston wants. Within the proles, Winston sees what he cannot be yet wants to become. He finds hope in them because he recognizes the threat that they could pose but he isn't justified because there is no way that they will learn to care. Nothing is really happening to them, so why should they take action. I also think Winston likes to believe that there is a greater force than Big Brother and the party and due their numbers, the proles make the perfect candidate.

lesliel said...

Before today I didn't really understand who the proles were, but a few classmates explained it to me. Since the proles are a part of the government that aren't constantly watched, then they would be able to communicate and plan something if they really wanted to. Wintson has hopes in the proles because of this reason. They are the only hope left he has because they are close to the government, so they know what's going on, and they aren't being watched all the time. He is justified for this reason because, to his knowledge, the proles are the only group that "have some rope."

jordanh said...

I think that the proles are my favorite characters (or group of characters) in 1984. I kind of disagree with the general idea that most people have agreed on. I think that-on a much more philosophical level- the proles can actually be better connected to today's upper class. Sure, the proles are treated badly, and so are members of our lower classes here in the US, but let's face it. The middle and lower classes (for the most part) works hard hours, pays their taxes, follow rules, conform with the government, and are punished when they break the law. The middle and lower classes would stand no chance in a revolution against our government. I think that our middle and lower class represents the ministry/government workers in 1984. I don't think that our lower classes represent the proles, but rather I find that the upper class today better represnts the proles in 1984. The proles in 1984 aren't bothered by the government, don't conform with the ministry workers, and don't work as hard as the ministry workers. I think that just like the proles, the upper class of America would stand a better chance at overthrowing our government.

ashleyf said...

Interesting questions...In a way, I see the proles as the people who always do "bad things," but never get caught. They're like the Ferris Beulers of 1984. Except, nobody is trying to catch the proles in their "wrong doings." There is something I don't get though, if these paroles are so insabordinate (hope I used that word correctly), then why haven't they been vaporized? Also, they don't own telescreens, couldn't anyone just not have one, just decide it was too expensive and not buy one? Just some thoughts.

Winston said that there was hope in the proles, so therefore, Winston doesn't find hope in his Big Brother life. You can see this portrayed in how people, especially young people, feel after watching a movie or reading an adventerous book. For instance, just reading an epic tale of pirates, makes an easily influenced person find much more meaning in tha sort of life than in thier own reality. Though pirates, or whatever, do not follow the way of life that everyone else do, people find it to be a thrilling life that would be fun to persue. No one can deny after watching Pirates of the Caribbean, that they wish they were a pirate, and hate the fact that they have to go to school in the morning instead.

I really enjoy seeing how Winston reacts to the proles, and how it is very similar to how we act as well even though we don't live in that sort of 1984 world....or do we? Most everyone in that world doesn't find it restricting execpt for a few. And in our world, many don't, or just accept how the world works. While others question everything and feel they have change the way our world operates.

maddisonm said...

I will answer the last question, I think that freedom has been lost in Winston’s society, but he finds it in the crumbling quarters of the Proles. The Proles have greater freedom then anyone else in Winston’s society, however, they do not realize this freedom, and therefore do not use it to their advantage. The Proles make up some 85% of Oceania population, but yet the Party barely even cares what they do. You would think with all this power the Proles have, they would overthrow the Party, but the problem is they do not even realize number one, this freedom, and number two, why they even should overthrow the party. I think that this really shows how brainwashed and unaware the people of Oceania are, and how easily the party can manipulate their people.

stephenf said...

In 1984, the Proles (proles? is it always capitilized?) represent the older time. They are free do to as the please though under the influence of the government. They have laws and guidelines laid out for them, but are not enforced by the thought police on a strict level. In ancient history, if a group is captured then intigrated into society but not fully, there are viewed as being not enterily members of the group but a part seperated by small barriers. In modern day terms it is more likely that a captured group with foriegn origins or differed beliefs, would be put to work. They would not simply allow them to join the society. Though these ideas are somewhat far fetched, a closer description would be that a group of people already living in a society but simply lived differently. They may not except the beliefs of those around them but they are respectful to each other. The proles are much like this, for they are a group of British people who simply clung to the old ways and seperated for doing so. They are unwritten laws that deal with the proles.

Winston finds hope in the Proles for a few reasons. One is that they are free from constant watch and are allowed to do as they please as long as it does not intefer with the party. Another reason would be that they are free thinkers and have mostly untainted minds. The final piece is the fact that they make up a large number of the population. Winston is justified in his thinking, as the man who owns the antique shop proves that they are smart and good.

The one major thing that has been lost in Winston's society is that they don't have free thinking. The Thought Police are always vigilant and the Spies are everywhere. Thinking about anything not having to do with the party is a crime. Anything ordinary to us but strange to them is suspicious and may lead to death. The Proles have free thinking and don't live in fear of the dreaded Thought Police.

whitneys said...

1. The Proles represent the average ordinary person in modern and ancient societies. Now, I am not saying that most people are stupid, just that most people do not realize the power they hold. Most submit to the government and accept their lies without much thought. They are the people who just exist. Well, yes I think a class like the Proles is always present.
2. Winston finds hope in the Proles because they are free, unlike the party members, and represent the greatest portion of the population. Winston is partially justified and yet not really. In order to revolt, the Proles need someone to show them the faults in the government. They really do not understand or care about the Party or what it does. If someone just showed them how awful their lives were compared to how they could be if they revolted, then I think that they would revolt. Yet, making the Proles realize their power and the governments corruptness, is a huge feat in itself.
3. I think Winston finds the simple joys and pleasure life can bring in the Proles section. These include having a quiet moment without someone watching, to lie in a bed with the woman you love, watching the sunrise, or stopping for a moment to listen to the bird. The Proles are all that is left of the past world and of the freedom it provided. Even though they live in horrible places, it is almost their choice to live that way and take the government's lies.
This shows the majority of society does know the simple pleasures, but they are so little in comparison to what they could enjoy if they really wanted. It is almost the message of, you chose how you want to live your life and if you fully trust the government.

mattf said...

The proles represent the working class, or the lower class. They do all the weak jobs. They are probably below the poverty line.

The proles make up at least 75% of the society. This means that Winston's belief is justified that the hope lies with them. If a majority uprises, the government can either kill them all and have a greatly reduced population, or meet their demands.

He finds useless stuff that his society no longer has. In Winston's society, everything has a purpose or else it doesn't exist. The paperweight, which he bought from the proles, is useless.

Tylerg! said...

Alkong with many people I too agree that the proles represent a lower class, and those who haven't yet suceeded. Winston finds hope in them not because of their intelligence, but because of their numbers. With over 75% of the society make-up in the proles, they can rebel and possibly provide the answer. I think that old items or antiques are the items that Winston thinks represent the proles. They seem useless but there must be a use and a very important one when found.

Tylerg! said...
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Selenam said...

1. The proles represent the lower class people who don't really pay any any attention to the law, and who the law doesn't really pay much attention to. I think there will always be people so poor they don't reallly care about the government, just in surviving. There will also be people so poor the government doesn't really pay attention to them, because they have almost no affect on anyones' life.
2. I think he finds hope in the Proles because they are not really restrained very much by the law, so they are the only ones who actually have a chance of an attack against the government. I think he is justified, because the proles probably have more acess to "Illegal" substances, and outnumber the party.
3. I think it is the general freedom from being watched all the time and the ability to do whatever.
3.

ZachH said...

To me, the proles represent a type of homeless people. I don't think they are homeless in the sense that they have gone bankrupt or lost all their possesions, but rather they have chosen to be homeless and free of possessions, rules, and governments. This type of homelessness has and will always be around in society because there are people who naturally want to rebebl and be free of everything. In 1984, Big Brother is probably afraid of these people because of their volentary rebellion. He therefore wants to keep them seperate from the other people so they don;t encourage rebellion.

I think Winston's hope in the proles is rooted in their natural rebellion. I think he believes that since they don't don't fit the norm and don't follow big brother they will be more likly to stand up against him and the party.

I think that Winston discovers what freedom would be like when he goes to visit the proles. Since they live without possessions or rules,he is able to see what life would be like without a totalitarian leader.

catem said...

I find that the main difference between Winston and Julia is Juilia is selfish, and Winston is selfless. The only reason that Julia breaks the rules is to benefit herself, while Winston is striving to break the rules to make future generations better not only his own life.