In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston goes to a pub and asks an old prole about life in the olden days. But it's all in vain, because the man can't remember anything Winston thinks is important, so Winston gives up and leaves.
Later that evening, he finds an old antique shop run by another prole named Mr Charrington. He has a higher opinion of Charrington than the other proles:
His spectacles, his gentle, fussy movements, and the fact that he was wearing an aged jacket of black velvet, gave him a vague air of intellectuality, as though he had been some kind of literary man, or perhaps a musician. His voice was soft, as though faded, and his accent less debased than that of the majority of proles.
They chat about antiques, and then a child's nursery rhyme and its relation to the old churches of London. Later on Winston comes to (wrongly) trust Charrington enough to rent his upstairs room with Julia.
My question is: why doesn't Winston ask Charrington the same things he tried to get the first prole to answer? It seems like Charrington is smarter and has a better memory, he's interested in history, likes conversation, and as far as Winston knows he's friendly. Heck, there isn't even a telescreen spying on them (or so he thinks). This has bugged me since the first time I read the book -- the answers are all right there in front of you for the taking, Winston!
(Obviously it suits the purposes of the story that Winston not have an easy reliable source of historical info, but it seems like such an oversight / plot hole that perhaps there's a reason for it I've overlooked.)