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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Orwell’s Homage to the Proles

George Orwell
I think George Orwell has paid a great homage to the proles in his book 1984. The book’s protagonist Winston Smith makes an entry in his diary: “If there is hope… it lies in the proles.”

Winston realizes that the proles constitute 85% of the population in Oceania. He notes in his dairy that “the proles, if they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet— —!”

In another entry in his diary, Winston writes: “Until [the proles] become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

But the proles do not become conscious of their own strength—Winston is unable to awaken them. The proles do not rebel and the Party continues to be in power in Oceania. There are several thought provoking passages on proles in 1984.

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