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Nineteen Eighty-Four
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FAQ for
1984 (1984) More at IMDbPro »Nineteen Eighty-Four (original title)

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What is a Proletariat?

Latin: proletarius, is the lowest of a societies class order. It was first meant to mean someone who had no wealth apart from the sons they bore, until Karl Marx used it as a sociological term to refer to the working class. The scope of the term was further narrowed when V.I. Lenin and his followers used it to refer specifically to poor factory laborers, poor agricultural laborers being referred to as bednyaks. The 'Proles' are everyone who is not a member of the Party. They don't follow its customs, are not overshadowed by telescreens, and are free of Big Brother. They are given the same care and attention as animals. Winston believes this freedom could allow them to revolt against the Party.

"Oranges and Lemons" is an English nursery rhyme. It consists of a semi-nonsensical conversation between the bells of various London churches. In the novel, Winston reconstructs it by hearing fragments from various Londoners. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, it serves as an example of the eradication of shared culture, and is foreshadowed as being lost forever after the final few people who remember it die.

"Oranges and lemons,"
Say the bells of St. Clement's.
"You owe me five farthings,"
Say the bells of St. Martin's.
"When will you pay me?"
Say the bells of Old Bailey.
"When I grow rich,"
Say the bells of Shoreditch.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Although many viewers don't consider the idea on their first viewing, some begin to wonder about the plausibility of Julia's feelings towards Winston. The book never makes any suggestion that she is part of the Thought Police, but does present Julia as being 'too good to be true'. Some examples include: her love for Winston is somewhat implausible, as they were unlikely to have had enough contact for any affection to grow, and the book describes Winston as quite old, with numerous false teeth - these features are also present in the film; Julia cares little for efforts to bring down the Party, and instead focuses on her own personal life; Julia is shown at different points in the film to be very involved with the Party, wearing the uniform of the 'Junior Anti-Sex League' and putting up posters, as well as being very enthusiastic during the Two Minutes of Hate. However, these are just alternate interpretations - the nature of the film is that very little can be proven. It is never confirmed that she is part of the Thought Police, so she generally isn't considered one.

In the novel however, Julia stated that if she obeys the small rules, she can freely breaks bigger rules, that motivates her joining the 'Junior Anti-Sex League' and so forth, but in the chapter when Winston was kept in prison, I read that he saw Julia, O'Brien and Mr. Charrington so, I assume she was one of the Thought Police.

And if you read the novel, the assumption might be true:

"Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me"

NewSpeak is a language being developed by the Party during the events of 1984. It is based on English, but is heavily simplified, removing both synonyms and antonyms: brilliant, amazing, wonderful, fantastic, awful, terrible, horrible and many others are condensed into good, plusgood, doubleplusgood, ungood, plusungood, and doubleplusungood. NewSpeak is discussed more in the book than the film, and its role is the narrow the range of thought. As thought can only happen with words, fewer words with simpler meanings and less of a range produce more concise thoughts, allowing the Party to have more control over its members.

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