1984, Dzhordzha Oruella audiobook. ISDN50397852

Джордж Оруэлл

Genre:social fiction




Publication date:16.03.2023


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George Orwell
Эксклюзивное чтение на английском языке
Не может быть ничего хуже тотальной несвободы. «1984» – культовый роман Джорджа Оруэлла, действие которого разворачивается в тоталитарном, бюрократическом государстве, где один человек тщетно пытается бороться за право быть индивидуальной личностью.

Текст произведения снабжен грамматическим комментарием и словарем, в который вошли все слова, содержащиеся в тексте. Благодаря этому книга подойдет для любого уровня владения языком.

Джордж Оруэлл / George Orwell


© George Orwell, 1949

© Adaptation. AST Publishers, the Estate of the late Sonia Brownell Orwell, 2019

© Дубиковская И.Г., адаптация, словарь, 2019

© «Издательство АСТ», 2019

Part One

Chapter 1
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of dust from entering along with him.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. The electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, ran the caption beneath it.

Inside the flat a voice was reading out a list of figures which had something to do with the production of pig-iron. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque which formed part of the surface of the wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice became quieter, though the words were still distinguishable. The telescreen could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely. He moved over to the window. His figure was small, emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.

Outside, the world looked cold. The sun was shining and the sky was a harsh blue colour, but there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere. The face with a moustache gazed down from every corner. Down at street level one of the posters, torn at one corner, flapped in the wind, alternately covering and uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter hovered between the roofs. It was the police patrol, looking into people’s windows. The patrols did not matter, however. Only the Thought Police mattered.

Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still talking about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it. Moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision of it, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even possible that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live in the assumption that every sound you made was heard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer. A kilometre away the Ministry of Truth, his place of work, towered above the grimy landscape. This, he thought with distaste—this was London, chief city of Airstrip One, itself the third most populous of the provinces of Oceania. He tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that should tell him whether London had always been quite like this. Were there always these vistas of rotting nineteenth-century houses? And the bombed sites with heaps of rubble; and the places where the bombs had cleared a larger patch and there had sprung up sordid colonies of wooden shelters? But it was no use, he could not remember.

The Ministry of Truth—Minitrue[1 - Minitrue – Миниправ], in Newspeak [2 - Newspeak – Новояз](Newspeak was the official language of Oceania)—was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face, the three slogans of the Party:



The Ministry of Truth contained three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. Scattered about London there were just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architecture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see all four of them simultaneously. They were the homes of the four Ministries between which the entire apparatus of government was divided. The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax[3 - Minipax – Минимир], Miniluv[4 - Miniluv – Минилюб], and Miniplenty[5 - Miniplenty – Миниизо].

The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside, nor within half a kilometre of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by getting through a maze of barbed wire, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by guards armed with truncheons.

Winston set his features into the expression of quiet optimism, which was advisable when facing the telescreen, and turned round. He crossed the room into the tiny kitchen. There, he took down from the shelf a bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, prepared himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine.

Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like acid. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful. He took a cigarette from a crumpled packet marked VICTORY CIGARETTES, went back to the living-room and sat down at a small table to the left of the telescreen. From the table drawer he took out a penholder, a bottle of ink, and a thick blank book.

For some reason the telescreen in the living-room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston was now sitting. When the flats were built, it had probably been intended to hold bookshelves. Here he was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen. He could be heard, of course, but he could not be seen.

The book he had just taken out of the drawer was a peculiarly beautiful book. Its smooth creamy paper, a little yellowed by age, was of a kind that had not been manufactured for at least forty years past. He had seen it lying in the window of a junk-shop and had been stricken immediately by an overwhelming desire to possess it. Party members were not supposed to go into ordinary shops (“dealing on the free market”, it was called), but the rule was not strictly kept, because there were various things, such as shoelaces and razor blades, which it was impossible to get hold of in any other way. He bought the book for two dollars fifty. At the time he did not want it for any particular purpose. He had carried it guiltily home in his briefcase. Even with nothing written in it, it was a compromising possession.

The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it probably would’ve been punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. Winston took the pen. It was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, and he had gotten one simply because of a feeling that the beautiful creamy paper deserved to be written on with a pen instead of being scratched with an ink-pencil. He was not used to writing by hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into the speak-write. He dipped the pen into the ink and then stopped for just a second. To mark the paper was the decisive act. In small clumsy letters he wrote:

April 4th, 1984.
He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had descended upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any certainty that this was 1984. He was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within a year or two.

For whom was he writing this diary? For the future, for the unborn. His thought about the doubtful date on the page, and then about the Newspeak word DOUBLETHINK[6 - doublethink – Двоемыслие]. For the first time the magnitude of what he had undertaken came home to him[7 - came home to him – снизошло на него]. How could you communicate with the future? It seemed impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from it, and this would be meaningless.

For some time he sat gazing stupidly at the paper. The telescreen had changed over to military music. He seemed to have forgotten what it was that he had originally intended to say. For weeks he had been preparing for this moment, and it had never crossed his mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer the restless monologue that had been running inside his head for years to paper. At this moment, however, even the monologue had dried up.

Suddenly he began writing in sheer panic, only imperfectly aware of what he was setting down. His small handwriting straggled up and down the page, shedding first its capital letters and finally even its full stops:

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank. then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms. little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood. then there was a wonderful shot of a child’s arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned her turned her out i dont suppose anything happened to her nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction they never—
Winston stopped writing, partly because he was suffering from a cramp. He did not know what had made him pour out this stream of rubbish. But the curious thing was that while he was doing so a totally different memory had clarified itself in his mind. He almost wanted to write it down.

It had happened that morning at the Ministry, if anything so nebulous could be said to happen.

It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Records Department, where Winston worked, they were dragging the chairs out of the cubicles and grouping them in the centre of the hall opposite the big telescreen, in preparation for the Two Minutes Hate. Winston was just taking his place in one of the middle rows when two people whom he knew by sight, but had never spoken to, came unexpectedly into the room. One of them was a girl whom he often passed in the corridors. He did not know her name, but he knew that she worked in the Fiction Department. She was a bold-looking girl, of about twenty-seven, with thick hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. A scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round the waist of her overalls. Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere she managed to carry about with her. He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies. But this particular girl gave him the impression of being more dangerous than most. Once when they passed in the corridor she gave him a quick sidelong glance which seemed to pierce right into him and for a moment had filled him with black terror. The idea had even crossed his mind that she might be an agent of the Thought Police. It was very unlikely, but still, he continued to feel a peculiar uneasiness whenever she was anywhere near him.

The other person was a man named O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party. He was a large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face. In spite of his formidable appearance he had a certain charm of manner. Winston had seen O’Brien perhaps a dozen times in almost as many years. He felt deeply drawn to him. It was because of a secretly held belief—or perhaps a hope—that O’Brien’s political orthodoxy was not perfect. Something in his face suggested it irresistibly. Winston had never made the smallest effort to verify this guess: indeed, there was no way of doing so. At this moment O’Brien glanced at his wrist-watch, saw that it was nearly eleven hundred, and evidently decided to stay in the Records Department until the Two Minutes Hate was over. He took a chair in the same row as Winston, a couple of places away. The girl with dark hair was sitting immediately behind.

The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started.

As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. Goldstein was the renegade who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself. He had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the main figure.

Winston could never see the face of Goldstein without a painful mixture of emotions. It was a lean Jewish face—a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable. Goldstein was delivering his usual venomous attack on the Party—an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough. He was abusing Big Brother, he was denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Eurasia, he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought. Behind his head on the telescreen marched the endless columns of the Eurasian army—row after row of solid-looking men with expressionless faces.

In the first thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage started breaking out from half the people in the room. The face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army behind it, were too much. What was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, his influence never seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him. A day never passed when his spies and saboteurs were not unmasked by the Thought Police. He was the commander of a vast shadowy army. The Brotherhood, its name was supposed to be. There were also whispered stories of a terrible book, filled with heresies, of which Goldstein was the author. People referred to it, if at all, simply as THE BOOK.

In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening voice that came from the screen. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out “Swine! Swine! Swine!”. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. That rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another. Thus, at one moment Winston’s hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police. Then, suddenly, Winston succeeded in transferring his hatred from the face on the screen to the dark-haired girl behind him. Vivid, beautiful hallucinations flashed through his mind. He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows. He would ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax. Moreover, he realized WHY he hated her. He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so, because round her waist was the scarlet sash, an aggressive symbol of chastity.

The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of Goldstein had become an actual sheep’s bleat, and for an instant the face changed into that of a sheep. Then it melted into the face of Big Brother, full of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Brother was saying. It was merely a few words of encouragement. Then the face of Big Brother faded away again, and instead the three slogans of the Party appeared in bold capitals:



The face of Big Brother seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had made on everyone’s eyeballs was too vivid to wear off immediately. The entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmical chant of “B-B!…B-B!”—over and over again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first “B” and the second. Winston chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. But there was a space of a couple of seconds during which the expression of his eyes might conceivably have betrayed him. And it was exactly at this moment that the significant thing happened—if, indeed, it did happen.

Momentarily he caught O’Brien’s eye. O’Brien had stood up. He had taken off his spectacles and was in the act of resettling them on his nose with his characteristic gesture. But there was a fraction of a second when their eyes met, and for as long as it took to happen Winston knew—yes, he KNEW!—that O’Brien was thinking the same thing as himself. It was as though their two minds had opened and the thoughts were flowing from one into the other through their eyes. “I am with you,” O’Brien seemed to be saying to him. “I know precisely what you are feeling. I am on your side!” And then it was gone, and O’Brien’s face was as inscrutable as everybody else’s.

That was all, and he was already uncertain whether it had happened. Such incidents never had any sequel. All that they did was to keep alive in him the belief, or hope, that others besides himself were the enemies of the Party. Perhaps the rumours were true after all—perhaps the Brotherhood really existed! It was impossible to be sure that the Brotherhood was not simply a myth. Some days he believed in it, some days not. There was no evidence. It was all guesswork: very likely he had imagined everything. He had gone back to his cubicle without looking at O’Brien again. The idea of following up their momentary contact hardly crossed his mind. It would have been inconceivably dangerous even if he had known how to set about doing it. For a second, two seconds, they had exchanged an equivocal glance, and that was the end of the story. But even that was a memorable event, in the locked loneliness in which one had to live.

Winston roused himself and sat up straighter. He let out a belch. The gin was rising from his stomach.

His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered that while he sat helplessly musing he had also been writing, as though by automatic action. And it was no longer the same cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals—DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER over and over again, filling half a page.

He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It was absurd, since the writing of those particular words was not more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary, but for a moment he was tempted to tear out the spoiled pages and abandon the enterprise altogether.

He did not do so, however, because he knew that it was useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed—would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime[8 - Thoughtcrime – Мыслепреступление], they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

It was always at night—the arrests invariably happened at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, the rough hand shaking your shoulder, the lights glaring in your eyes, the ring of hard faces round the bed. In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: VAPORIZED was the usual word.

For a moment he was seized by a kind of hysteria. He began writing in a hurried untidy scrawl:

theyll shoot me i don’t care theyll shoot me in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother they always shoot you in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother—
He sat back in his chair, slightly ashamed of himself, and laid down the pen. The next moment he started violently. There was a knocking at the door.

Already! He sat as still as a mouse, in the futile hope that whoever it was might go away after a single attempt. But no, the knocking was repeated. The worst thing of all would be to delay. His heart was thumping like a drum, but his face, from long habit, was probably expressionless. He got up and moved heavily towards the door.

Chapter 2
As he put his hand to the door-knob Winston saw that he had left the diary open on the table. DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER was written all over it. It was an inconceivably stupid thing to have done. But, he realized, even in his panic he had not wanted to smudge the creamy paper by shutting the book while the ink was wet.

He drew in his breath and opened the door. A crushed-looking woman, with wispy hair and a lined face, was standing outside.

“Oh, comrade,” she began, “I thought I heard you come in. Do you think you could come across and have a look at our kitchen sink? It’s got blocked up and—”

It was Mrs Parsons, the wife of a neighbour on the same floor. She was a woman of about thirty, but looking much older. Winston followed her.

“Of course it’s only because Tom isn’t home,” said Mrs Parsons vaguely.

The Parsons’ flat was bigger than Winston’s, and dingy in a different way. Everything had a battered look. There were things laying all over the floor, and on the table there was a litter of dirty dishes. In another room someone was trying to keep tune with the military music which was still issuing from the telescreen.

“It’s the children,” said Mrs Parsons. “They haven’t been out today. And of course—”

She had a habit of breaking off her sentences in the middle.

Winston knelt down and examined the angle-joint of the pipe. Mrs Parsons looked on helplessly.

“Of course if Tom was home he’d put it right in a moment,” she said.

Parsons was Winston’s fellow-employee at the Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity.

“Have you got a spanner?” said Winston.

“A spanner,” said Mrs Parsons. “I don’t know. Perhaps the children—”

There was a trampling of boots and children charged into the living-room. Mrs Parsons brought the spanner. Winston let out the water and disgustedly removed the clot of human hair that had blocked up the pipe. He cleaned his fingers as best he could in the cold water from the tap and went back into the other room.

“Up with your hands!” yelled a savage voice.

A tough-looking boy of nine had popped up from behind the table and was menacing him with a toy automatic pistol, while his small sister, about two years younger, made the same gesture with a fragment of wood.

“You’re a traitor!” yelled the boy. “You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian spy! I’ll shoot you!”

Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting “Traitor!” and “Thought-criminal!”

Mrs Parsons’ eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the children, and back again.

“They do get so noisy,” she said. “They’re disappointed because they couldn’t go to see the hanging, that’s what it is. I’m too busy to take them and Tom won’t be back from work in time.”

“Why can’t we go and see the hanging?” roared the boy.

“Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!” chanted the little girl.

Some Eurasian prisoners, guilty of war crimes, were to be hanged in the Park that evening, Winston remembered. This happened about once a month, and was a popular spectacle. Children always wanted to be taken to see it. He took his leave of Mrs Parsons and made for the door.

With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. They adored the Party and everything connected with it. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which “The Times” did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak—“child hero” was the phrase generally used—had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

Once home, he picked up his pen half-heartedly, wondering whether he could find something more to write in the diary.

The voice from the telescreen paused. A trumpet call sounded. The voice continued raspingly:

“Attention! Your attention, please! A newsflash has this moment arrived from the Malabar front. Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory. I am authorized to say that the action we are now reporting may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end. Here is the newsflash—”
Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough, soon came the announcement that, as from next week, the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty.

Winston belched again. The gin was wearing off. The telescreen—perhaps to celebrate the victory, perhaps to drown the memory of the lost chocolate—crashed into “Oceania, ‘tis for thee”.

Winston walked over to the window, keeping his back to the telescreen. The day was still cold and clear. Somewhere far away a rocket bomb exploded with a dull, reverberating roar. About twenty or thirty of them a week were falling on London at present.

He wondered again for whom he was writing the diary. For the future, for the past—for an age that might be imaginary.

The telescreen struck fourteen. He must leave in ten minutes. He had to be back at work by fourteen-thirty.

He went back to the table, dipped his pen, and wrote:

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone—to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink—greetings!
He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that it was only now, when he had begun to be able to formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive step. The consequences of every act are included in the act itself. He wrote:

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.
Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible. Two fingers of his right hand were inkstained. It was exactly the kind of detail that might betray you. He went to the bathroom and carefully scrubbed the ink away with the gritty darkbrown soap.

He put the diary away in the drawer. It was quite useless to think of hiding it, but he could at least make sure whether or not its existence had been discovered.

Chapter 3
Winston was dreaming of his mother.

He must, he thought, have been ten or eleven years old when his mother had disappeared. She was a tall, rather silent woman with slow movements and magnificent fair hair. His father he remembered more vaguely as dark and thin, dressed always in neat dark clothes and wearing spectacles. The two of them must have disappeared in one of the first great purges of the fifties.

At this moment his mother was sitting in some place deep down beneath him, with his young sister in her arms. Both of them were looking up at him. They were down in a place—the bottom of a well, or a very deep grave—which was moving downwards. They could still see him and he them. He was out in the light and air while they were being sucked down to death, and they were down there because he was up here. He knew it and they knew it.

He could not remember what had happened, but he knew in his dream that in some way the lives of his mother and his sister had been sacrificed to his own. The thing that now suddenly struck Winston was that his mother’s death, nearly thirty years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible. His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him. Such a thing could not happen today. Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows.

Suddenly he was standing on short springy turf, on a summer evening. The landscape that he was looking at recurred so often in his dreams that he was never fully certain whether or not he had seen it in the real world. He called it the Golden Country. It was an old pasture.

The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke up with the word “Shakespeare” on his lips.

The telescreen was giving forth an ear-splitting whistle which continued on the same note for thirty seconds. It was getting-up time for office workers. Winston got out of bed and seized a dingy singlet and a pair of shorts that were lying across a chair. The Physical Jerks would begin in three minutes.

“Thirty to forty group!” yelled a piercing female voice. “Thirty to forty group! Take your places, please. Thirties to forties!”

Winston stood in front of the telescreen, upon which the image of a youngish woman dressed in tunic and gym-shoes, had already appeared.

“Arms bending and stretching!” she rapped out. “Take your time by me. ONE, two, three, four! ONE, two, three, four! Come on, comrades, put a bit of life into it! ONE, two, three four! ONE two, three, four!…”

Winston mechanically shot his arms back and forth, with the look of grim enjoyment which was considered proper during the Physical Jerks. He was struggling to think his way backward into his early childhood. It was extraordinarily difficult. Beyond the late fifties everything faded. Everything had been different then. Even the names of countries, and their shapes on the map, had been different. Airstrip One, for instance, had not been so called in those days: it had been called England or Britain. Though London, he felt fairly certain, had always been called London.

Winston could not remember a time when his country had not been at war, but it was evident that there had been a fairly long interval of peace during his childhood, because one of his early memories was of an air raid which appeared to take everyone by surprise. Perhaps it was the time when the atomic bomb had fallen on Colchester. Since about that time, war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war. At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was a piece of knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened.

“Stand easy!” barked the instructress.

Winston slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of the truth while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them,. That was the ultimate subtlety:. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.

The instructress had called them to attention again. “And now let’s see which of us can touch our toes!” she said enthusiastically. “Right over from the hips, please, comrades. ONE-two! ONE-two!…”

Winston loathed this exercise, which sent shooting pains all the way from his heels to his buttocks and often ended by bringing on a coughing fit. The half-pleasant quality went out of his meditations. The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. He tried to remember in what year he had first heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. Winston could not even remember at what date the Party itself had come into existence. Everything melted into mist. Sometimes, indeed, you could put your finger on a definite lie. It was not true, for example, as was claimed in the Party history books, that the Party had invented aeroplanes. He remembered aeroplanes since his earliest childhood. But you could prove nothing. There was never any evidence. And on that occasion—

“Smith!” screamed the voice from the telescreen. “6079 Smith W.! Yes, YOU! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! THAT’S better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.”

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while the instructress raised her arms above her head, bent over and tucked the first joint of her fingers under her toes.

“THERE, comrades! THAT’S how I want to see you doing it. Watch me again. I’m thirty-nine and I’ve had four children. Now look.” She bent over again. “You see MY knees aren’t bent. You can all do it if you want to,” she added as she straightened herself up. “Anyone under forty-five is perfectly capable of touching his toes. Now try again. That’s better, comrade, that’s MUCH better,” she added encouragingly as Winston, with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with knees unbent, for the first time in several years.

Chapter 4
With the deep, unconscious sigh, Winston pulled the speakwrite towards him, blew the dust from its mouthpiece, and put on his spectacles. Then he unrolled and clipped together four small cylinders of paper which had already lopped out of the pneumatic tube on the right-hand side of his desk.

In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed everywhere around the building, not only in every room but in every corridor. They were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in. A current of warm air would then bring it to one of the enormous furnaces somewhere within the building.

Winston examined the four slips of paper which he had unrolled. Each contained a message of only one or two lines—consisting largely of Newspeak words—which was used in the Ministry for internal purposes. They ran:

times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify

times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify current issue

times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling
With a faint feeling of satisfaction Winston laid the fourth message aside. It was an intricate and responsible job and had better be dealt with last. The other three were routine matters, though the second one would probably mean some tedious wading through lists of figures.

Winston dialled “back numbers” on the telescreen and the appropriate issues of “The Times” slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes’ delay. The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify. For example, it appeared from “The Times” of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother’s speech, in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened.

As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his corrections to the appropriate copy of “The Times” and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.

He knew in general terms what would happen next. As soon as all the corrections had been assembled, that issue would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might hold any political or ideological significance. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown to have been correct, In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. Even the written instructions which Winston received, and which he got rid of as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or implied that an act of forgery was to be committed. It was always the reference to errors, misprints, or misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the interests of accuracy.

But actually, he thought, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world. Statistics were just a fantasy; a great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at 145 million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, brought the figure down to fifty-seven millions, to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small.

Winston glanced across the hall. In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small man named Tillotson was working steadily away, with a folded newspaper on his knee and his mouth very close to the mouthpiece of the speakwrite. He had the air of trying to keep what he was saying a secret between himself and the telescreen. He looked up, and his spectacles darted a hostile flash in Winston’s direction.

Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and had no idea what work he was employed on. People in the Records Department did not readily talk about their jobs. In the long, windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy hair was tracking down and deleting from the Press the names of people who had been vaporized and were therefore considered never to have existed. And a few cubicles away a mild, ineffectual, dreamy creature named Ampleforth, with very hairy ears and a surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and metres, was engaged in producing garbled versions—definitive texts, they were called—of poems which had become ideologically offensive, but which for one reason or another were to be retained in the anthologies. And this hall, with its fifty workers or thereabouts, was only one sub-sectionas it were, in the huge complexity of the Records Department. Beyond, above, below, were other swarms of workers engaged in a multitude of jobs: printing-shops with sub-editors, typography experts, the teleprogrammes section with its engineers, its producers, and its teams of actors. There were the armies of reference clerks whose job was make lists of books and periodicals due for recall. There were the vast repositories of corrected documents, and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed.

And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job was not to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels. Here were produced newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means. There was even a whole section—Pornosec—engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography.

Three messages had slid out of the pneumatic tube while Winston was working, but they were simple matters, and he had disposed of them before the Two Minutes Hate interrupted him. When the Hate was over he returned to his cubicle, took the Newspeak dictionary from the shelf, pushed the speakwrite to one side, cleaned his spectacles, and settled down to his main job of the morning.

Winston’s greatest pleasure in life was in his work. Most of it was a tedious routine, but included in it there were also jobs so difficult and intricate that you could lose yourself in them as in the depths of a mathematical problem—delicate pieces of forgery. Winston was good at this kind of thing.

Winston read through the article. Big Brother’s Order for the Day, was about praising the work of an organization known as FFCC, which supplied cigarettes and other comforts to the sailors. A certain Comrade Withers, a prominent member of the Inner Party, had been singled out for special mention and awarded a decoration, the Order of Conspicuous Merit, Second Class.

Three months later FFCC had suddenly been dissolved with no reasons given. Withers and his associates were now in disgrace, but there had been no report of the matter in the Press or on the telescreen. There was no clue as to what had happened to them.

Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps Withers or someone close to him had been suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps—what was likeliest of all—the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government.

Winston thought for a moment, then pulled the speakwrite towards him and began dictating in Big Brother’s familiar style: a style at once military and pedantic, and, because of a trick of asking questions and then promptly answering them (“What lessons do we learn from this fact, comrades? The lesson—which is also one of the fundamental principles of Ingsoc—that,” etc., etc.), easy to imitate.

Chapter 5
The lunch queue moved slowly forward. The room was already very full and noisy.

“Just the man I was looking for,” said a voice at Winston’s back.

He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who worked in the Research Department. Perhaps “friend” was not exactly the right word. You did not have friends nowadays, you had comrades: but there were some comrades whose society was pleasanter than that of others. Syme was a philologist, a specialist in Newspeak.

“I wanted to ask you whether you’d got any razor blades,” he said.

“Not one!” said Winston with a sort of guilty haste. “I’ve tried all over the place. They don’t exist any longer. I’ve been using the same blade for six weeks.”

The queue gave another jerk forward.

“Did you go and see the prisoners hanged yesterday?” said Syme.

“I was working,” said Winston indifferently.

“It was a good hanging,” said Syme. “I think it spoils it when they tie their feet together. I like to see them kicking. And above all, at the end, the tongue sticking right out, and blue—a quite bright blue. That’s the detail that appeals to me.”

“Next”, please!” yelled the prole with the ladle.

Winston and Syme pushed their trays and got their lunch—a stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one saccharine tablet.

“There’s a table over there, under that telescreen,” said Syme. “Let’s pick up a gin on the way.”

The gin was served out to them in handleless china mugs. They walked to the metal table, sat down, and began eating.

“How is the Dictionary getting on?” said Winston.

“Slowly,” said Syme. “I’m on the adjectives. It’s fascinating.”

He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak.

“The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,” he said. “We’re getting the language into its final shape—the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again.”

He bit hungrily into his bread, then continued speaking.

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Take “good”, for instance. If you have a word like “good”, what need is there for a word like “bad”? “Ungood” will do just as well—better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excellent” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston?”

A sort of vapid eagerness showed on Winston’s face. Syme immediately detected the lack of enthusiasm.

“You haven’t a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,” he said almost sadly. “Even when you write it you’re still thinking in Oldspeak. I’ve read some of those pieces that you write in “The Times” occasionally. They’re good enough, but they’re translations. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?”

Winston did know that, of course.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”

“Except—” began Winston doubtfully, and he stopped.

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say “Except the proles,” but he stopped himself.

One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in his face.

Winston had finished his bread and cheese. Syme had fallen silent for a moment.

“There is a word in Newspeak,” said Syme, “I don’t know whether you know it: DUCKSPEAK, to quack like a duck. It is one of those interesting words that have two contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it is abuse, applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.”

Unquestionably Syme will be vaporized, Winston thought again. He thought it with a kind of sadness. There was something subtly wrong with Syme. There was something that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity. You could not say that he was unorthodox. He believed in the principles of Ingsoc, he loved the Big Brother, he rejoiced over victories, he hated heretics. Yet said things that would have been better unsaid, he had read too many books.

Syme looked up. “Here comes Parsons,” he said.

Parsons, Winston’s fellow-tenant at Victory Mansions, was in fact walking across the room—a middle-sized man with fair hair and a froglike face. He greeted them both with a “Hullo, hullo!” and sat down at the table, giving off an intense smell of sweat.

“Smith, old boy, I’ll tell you why I’m chasing you. It’s that sub you forgot to give me.”

“Which sub is that?” said Winston, automatically feeling for money.

“For Hate Week. You know—the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort—going to put on a tremendous show. Two dollars you promised me.”

Winston found and handed over two filthy notes.

“By the way, old boy,” he said. “I hear that little beggar of mine shot at you yesterday. I told him I’d take the catapult away if he does it again.”

“I think he was a little upset at not going to the execution,” said Winston.

“Ah, well—what I mean to say, shows the right spirit, doesn’t it? All they think about is the Spies, and the war, of course. D’you know what that little girl of mine did last Saturday? She got two other girls to go with her, slipped off from the hike, and spent the whole afternoon following a strange man. They kept on his tail for two hours, right through the woods, and then, when they got into Amersham, handed him over to the patrols.”

“What did they do that for?” said Winston. Parsons went on:

“My kid made sure he was some kind of enemy agent. She spotted he was wearing a funny kind of shoes—said she’d never seen anyone wearing shoes like that before. So the chances were he was a foreigner. Pretty smart, eh?”

“What happened to the man?” said Winston.

“Ah, that I couldn’t say, of course. But I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if—” Parsons made the motion of aiming a rifle, and clicked his tongue for the explosion.

“Good,” said Syme, without looking up.

“Of course we can’t afford to take chances,” agreed Winston.

“What I mean to say, there is a war on,” said Parsons.

As though in confirmation of this, a trumpet call sounded from the telescreen just above their heads.

“Comrades!” cried an eager youthful voice. “Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! All over Oceania this morning there were spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of factories and offices and paraded through the streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, happy life. Here are—”

Winston looked round the canteen again. Nearly everyone was ugly, and would still have been ugly even if dressed otherwise than in the uniform blue overalls. On the far side of the room, sitting at a table alone, a small man was drinking a cup of coffee. How easy it was, thought Winston, if you did not look about you, to believe that the physical type set up by the Party as an ideal—tall muscular youths and deep-bosomed maidens, blond-haired, vital, sunburnt, carefree—existed and even predominated. Actually, so far as he could judge, the majority of people were small, dark, and ill-favoured. It was the type that seemed to flourish best under the Party.

The announcement from the Ministry of Plenty ended. Parsons took his pipe out of his mouth.

“The Ministry of Plenty’s certainly done a good job this year,” he said with a knowing shake of his head. “By the way, Smith old boy, I suppose you haven’t got any razor blades you can let me have?”

“Not one,” said Winston. “I’ve been using the same blade for six weeks myself.”

“Ah, well—just thought I’d ask you, old boy.”

“Sorry,” said Winston.

For some reason Winston suddenly found himself thinking of Mrs Parsons. Within two years those children would be denouncing her to the Thought Police. Mrs Parsons would be vaporized. Syme would be vaporized. Winston would be vaporized. O’Brien would be vaporized. Parsons, on the other hand, would never be vaporized. And the girl with dark hair, the girl from the Fiction Department—she would never be vaporized either.

At this moment he noticed that a girl at the next table was looking at him. It was the girl with dark hair. The instant she caught his eye she looked away again.

The sweat started out on Winston’s backbone. Terror went through him. Why was she watching him? Why did she keep following him about?

The girl had turned her back on him again. Perhaps it was coincidence that she had sat so close to him two days running. His cigarette had gone out, and he laid it carefully on the edge of the table. He would finish smoking it after work, if he could keep the tobacco in it.

“Did I ever tell you, old boy,” said Parsons, “about the time when my children set fire to the old market-woman’s skirt because they saw her wrapping up sausages in a poster of B.B.? Sneaked up behind her and set fire to it with a box of matches. Burned her quite badly, I believe.”

At this moment the telescreen let out a whistle.

It was the signal to return to work. All three men got up and made their way to the lifts. The remaining tobacco fell out of Winston’s cigarette.

Chapter 6
Winston was writing in his diary:

It was three years ago. It was on a dark evening, in a narrow side-street near one of the big railway stations. She was standing near a doorway in the wall, under a street lamp that hardly gave any light. She had a young face, painted very thick. It was really the paint that appealed to me, the whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips. Party women never paint their faces. There was nobody else in the street, and no telescreens. She said two dollars. I—
For the moment it was too difficult to go on. He shut his eyes and pressed his fingers against them. He wanted to shout a string of filthy words at the top of his voice. Or to bang his head against the wall, to kick over the table, and throw the inkpot through the window.

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you could turn into some visible symptom.

He drew his breath and went on writing:

I went with her through the doorway and across a backyard into a basement kitchen. There was a bed against the wall, and a lamp on the table, turned down very low. She—
He would have liked to spit. Simultaneously with the woman in the basement kitchen he thought of Katharine, his wife. Winston was married—had been married: probably he still was married, so far as he knew his wife was not dead.

When he had gone with that woman it had been his first lapse in two years or thereabouts. Consorting with prostitutes was forbidden, of course, but it was one of those rules that you could occasionally break. It was dangerous, but it was not a life-and-death matter. To be caught with a prostitute might mean five years in a forced labour camp: not more, if you had committed no other offence. And it was easy enough, provided that you could avoid being caught in the act.

The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. All marriages between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and permission was always refused if the couple seemed physically attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to make children for the service of the Party.

He thought again of Katharine. It must be nine, ten—nearly eleven years since they had parted. It was curious how seldom he thought of her. They had only been together for about fifteen months.

Katharine was a tall, fair-haired girl, very straight, with splendid movements. She had a bold face, a face that one might have called noble until one discovered that there was as nearly as possible nothing behind it. Very early in her married life he had decided that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. Yet he could have endured living with her if it had not been for just one thing—sex.

As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a wooden image. And what was strange was that even when she was clasping him against her he had the feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away with all her strength. They must, Katharine said, produce a child if they could. So the performance continued to happen, once a week quite regularly. But luckily no child appeared, and in the end she agreed to give up trying, and soon afterwards they parted.

Winston sighed. He picked up his pen again and wrote:

She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without any kind of preliminary in the most coarse, horrible way you can imagine, pulled up her skirt. I—
He saw himself standing there in the dim lamplight. Why did it always have to be like this? Why could he not have a woman of his own instead of this? But a real love affair was an almost unthinkable event. The women of the Party were all alike. Chastity was as deep ingrained in them as Party loyalty. Desire was thoughtcrime.

But the rest of the story had got to be written down. He wrote:

I turned up the lamp. When I saw her in the light—
For the first time he could see the woman properly. He had taken a step towards her and then halted, full of lust and terror. He was painfully conscious of the risk he had taken in coming here. It was perfectly possible that the patrols would catch him on the way out.

What he had suddenly seen was that the woman was OLD. The paint was plastered so thick on her face that it looked as though it might crack like a mask. There were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly dreadful detail was that her mouth had no teeth at all.

He wrote hurriedly:

When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years old at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same.
He pressed his fingers against his eyelids again. He had written it down at last, but it made no difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.

Chapter 7
“If there is hope,” wrote Winston, “it lies in the proles.”

If there was hope, it MUST lie in the proles, because only there in those swarming masses, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes.

He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when he heard shouting of hundreds of voices women’s voices ahead. It was a cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud “Oh-o-o-o-oh!” His heart had leapt. It’s started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans. The supply had ended. The successful women were trying to make off with their saucepans while dozens of others were standing round the stall, accusing the stall-keeper of favouritism. Winston watched them with disgust. And yet, just for a moment, what almost frightening power had sounded in that cry!

He wrote:

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
That, he reflected, might have been a transcription from one of the Party textbooks. The Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles from bondage. Before the Revolution they had been oppressed by the capitalists. The Party taught that the proles were natural inferiors. In reality very little was known about the proles. It was not necessary to know much. So long as they continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling, filled up their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult. A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumours and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous. The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes. Even the civil police interfered with them very little. The sexual Puritanism of the Party was not imposed upon them. As the Party slogan put it: “Proles and animals are free.”

Winston took out of the drawer a copy of a children’s history textbook which he had borrowed from Mrs Parsons, and began copying a passage into the diary:

In the old days (it ran), before the glorious Revolution, London was not the beautiful city that we know today. It was a dark, dirty, miserable place where hardly anybody had enough to eat and where hundreds and thousands of poor people had no boots on their feet and not even a roof to sleep under. Children no older than you had to work twelve hours a day for cruel masters who flogged them with whips if they worked too slowly and fed them on nothing but stale breadcrusts and water. But in among all this terrible poverty there were just a few great big beautiful houses that were lived in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants to look after them. These rich men were called capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists, and no one else was allowed to wear it. The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as “Sir”. The chief of all the capitalists was called the King, and—
How could you tell how much of it was lies? It MIGHT be true that the average human being was better off now than he had been before the Revolution. The only evidence to the contrary was the mute protest in your own bones. It struck him that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness. The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible—a world of steel and concrete—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity. The reality was decaying cities where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes.

Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better houses, better recreations—that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better educated, than the people of fifty years ago. Not a word of it could ever be proved or disproved. The Party claimed, for example, that today 40 per cent of adult proles were literate: before the Revolution, it was said, the number had only been 15 per cent. The Party claimed that the infant mortality rate was now only 160 per thousand, whereas before the Revolution it had been 300—and so it went on. It was like a single equation with two unknowns. It might very well be that literally every word in the history books, even the things that one accepted without question, was pure fantasy. For all he knew there might never have been any such law as the JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS, or any such creature as a capitalist, or any such garment as a top hat.

Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in his life he had possessed—AFTER the event: that was what counted—concrete, unmistakable evidence of an act of falsification. He had held it between his fingers for as long as thirty seconds. In 1973, it must have been—at any rate, it was at about the time when he and Katharine had parted. But the really relevant date was seven or eight years earlier.

The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of the great purges in which the original leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once and for all. By 1970 none of them was left, except Big Brother himself. Goldstein had fled and was hiding no one knew where, and of the others, a few had simply disappeared, while the majority had been executed. Among the last survivors were three men named Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford. It must have been in 1965 that these three had been arrested. As often happened, they had vanished for a year or more, so that one did not know whether they were alive or dead, and then had suddenly been brought forth to incriminate themselves in the usual way. They had confessed working with the enemy. After confessing they had been pardoned, and given posts in the Party which didn’t mean anything but which sounded important.

Some time after their release Winston had actually seen all three of them in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He remembered the sort of terrified fascination with which he had watched them out of the corner of his eye. They were like corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave.

There was no one at any of the tables nearest to them. It was not wise even to be seen in near such people. They were sitting in silence before glasses of the gin flavoured with cloves which was the speciality of the cafe. Of the three, it was Rutherford whose appearance had most impressed Winston. Rutherford had once been a famous caricaturist. Even now, at long intervals, his cartoons were appearing in The Times. They were simply an imitation of his earlier manner, lifeless and unconvincing. He was a monstrous man, with a mane of greasy grey hair. At one time he must have been immensely strong; now his great body was sagging, falling away in every direction. He seemed to be breaking up before one’s eyes.

Winston could not now remember how he had come to be in the cafe at such a time. The place was almost empty. The three men sat in their corner almost motionless, never speaking. Uncommanded, the waiter brought fresh glasses of gin. There was a chessboard on the table beside them, with the pieces set out but no game started. And then, for perhaps half a minute in all, something happened to the telescreens. The tune that they were playing changed. It was a peculiar, cracked, jeering note: in his mind Winston called it a yellow note. And then a voice from the telescreen was singing:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

The three men never stirred. But when Winston glanced again at Rutherford’s face, he saw that his eyes were full of tears. And for the first time he noticed, and yet not knowing AT WHAT he shuddered, that both Aaronson and Rutherford had broken noses.

A little later all three were re-arrested. It appeared that they had engaged in fresh conspiracies from the very moment of their release. At their second trial they confessed to all their old crimes over again. They were executed, and their fate was recorded in the Party histories. About five years after this, in 1973, Winston was working on documents when he came on a fragment of paper which had evidently been slipped in among the others and then forgotten. The instant he had flattened it out he saw its significance. It was a half-page torn out of “The Times” of about ten years earlier—the top half of the page, so that it included the date—and it contained a photograph of the delegates at some Party function in New York. Prominent in the middle of the group were Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford. There was no mistaking them, and their names were in the caption at the bottom.

The point was that at both trials all three men had confessed that on that date they had been on Eurasian soil. They had flown to Siberia, and had worked with members of the Eurasian General Staff, to whom they had betrayed important military secrets. There was only one possible conclusion: the confessions were lies.

It was concrete evidence; it was a fragment of the abolished past. It was enough to blow the Party to atoms.

He had gone straight on working. As soon as he saw what the photograph was, and what it meant, he had covered it up with another sheet of paper. Luckily, when he unrolled it, it had been upside-down from the point of view of the telescreen.

He took his scribbling pad on his knee and pushed back his chair so as to get as far away from the telescreen as possible. To keep your face expressionless was not difficult, and even your breathing could be controlled, with an effort: but you could not control the beating of your heart, and the telescreen was quite delicate enough to pick it up. Without uncovering the picture again, he dropped it into the memory hole, along with some other waste papers.

That was ten—eleven years ago. Today, probably, he would have kept that photograph. But today, it might not even be evidence. Already, at the time when he made his discovery, Oceania was no longer at war with Eurasia, and it must have been to the agents of Eastasia that the three dead men had betrayed their country. Since then there had been other changes—two, three, he could not remember how many. Very likely the confessions had been rewritten and rewritten until the original facts and dates no longer mattered. The past changed continuously. He took up his pen again and wrote:

I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.
He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one. At one time it had been a sign of madness to believe that the earth goes round the sun; today, to believe that the past is inalterable. He might be ALONE in holding that belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him: the horror was that he might also be wrong.

He picked up the children’s history book and looked at the portrait of Big Brother on the cover. The eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you—something that penetrated inside your skull,

His courage seemed suddenly to stiffen of its own accord. The face of O’Brien had floated into his mind. He knew, with more certainty than before, that O’Brien was on his side. He was writing the diary for O’Brien—TO O’Brien.

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power positioned against him,.And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, he wrote:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

Chapter 8
Winston had walked for several kilometres. This was the second time in three weeks that he had missed an evening at the Community Centre: a rash act, since you could be certain that the number of your attendances at the Centre was carefully checked. In principle a Party member had no spare time, and was never alone except in bed. It was assumed that when he was not working, eating, or sleeping he would be taking part in some kind of communal activity. But this evening as he came out of the Ministry the April air had tempted him. The sky was a warmer blue than he had seen it that year, and suddenly the long, noisy evening at the Centre had seemed intolerable. He had turned away from the bus-stop and wandered off into the labyrinth of London.

“If there is hope,” he had written in the diary, “it lies in the proles.” The words kept coming back to him. He was walking up a cobbled street of little houses. Perhaps a quarter of the windows in the street were broken and boarded up. Most of the people paid no attention to Winston. The blue overalls of the Party could not be a common sight in a street like this. Indeed, it was unwise to be here, unless you had definite business. The patrols might stop you if you happened to run into them.

He turned to the right. It was nearly twenty hours, and the drinking-shops which the proles went to (“pubs”, they called them) were full with customers.

But if there was hope, it lay in the proles. You had to cling on to that. When you put it in words it sounded reasonable: it was when you looked at the human beings passing you on the pavement that it became an act of faith. The street took a sharp turn and then ended in a flight of steps which led down into an alley. At this moment Winston remembered where he was. The alley led out into the main street, and down the next turning, not five minutes away, was the junkshop where he had bought the blank book which was now his diary.

He paused for a moment at the top of the steps. On the opposite side of the alley there was a pub. A very old man pushed open the swing door and went in. As Winston stood watching, it occurred to him that the old man, had already been middleaged when the Revolution happened. He and a few others like him were the last links to the past. In the Party itself there were not many people left whose ideas had been formed before the Revolution. The older generation had mostly been wiped out in the great purges of the fifties and sixties. Suddenly, an impulse took hold of him. He would go into the pub and question the old man. He would say to him: “Tell me about your life when you were a boy. What was it like in those days? Were things better than they are now, or were they worse?”

Hurriedly, he went down the steps and crossed the street. It was madness of course. As usual, there was no definite rule against talking to proles and going to their pubs, but it was far too unusual an action to pass unnoticed. He pushed open the door, and a hideous smell hit him in the face. As he entered the din of voices dropped to about half its volume. Behind his back he could feel everyone looking at his blue overalls. The old man whom he had followed was standing at the bar, talking to the barman.

“I arst you civil enough, didn’t I?” said the old man. “You telling me you ain’t got a pint mug in the ‘ole bleeding boozer?”

“And what in hell’s name IS a pint?” said the barman, leaning forward with the tips of his fingers on the counter.

“’Ark at ‘im! Calls ‘isself a barman and don’t know what a pint is! Why, a pint’s the ‘alf of a quart, and there’s four quarts to the gallon. ‘Ave to teach you the A, B, C next.”

“Never heard of ‘em,” said the barman shortly. “Litre and half litre—that’s all we serve. There’s the glasses on the shelf in front of you.”

“I likes a pint,” persisted the old man. “We didn’t “ave these bleeding litres when I was a young man.”

“When you were a young man we were all living in the treetops,” said the barman, with a glance at the other customers.

There was a shout of laughter, and the uneasiness caused by Winston’s entry seemed to disappear. The old man turned away, muttering to himself. Winston caught him gently by the arm.

“May I offer you a drink?” he said.

“You’re a gent,” said the man. He appeared not to have noticed Winston’s blue overalls. “Pint!” he added to the barman. “Pint of wallop.”

The barman poured two half-litres of dark-brown beer into thick glasses. Beer was the only drink you could get in prole pubs. There was a table under the window where he and the old man could talk without fear of being overheard.

“’E could ‘a drawed me off a pint,” grumbled the old man as he settled down behind a glass. “A ‘alf litre ain’t enough. It don’t satisfy. And a ‘ole litre’s too much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the price.”

“You must have seen great changes since you were a young man,” said Winston.

“The beer was better,” said the man. “And cheaper! When I was a young man, mild beer—wallop we used to call it—‘as fourpence a pint. That was before the war, of course.”

“Which war was that?” said Winston.

“It’s all wars,” said the old man vaguely. He took up his glass. “‘Ere’s wishing you the very best of ’ealth!”

He drank the beer. Winston went to the bar and came back with two more half-litres. The old man appeared to have forgotten his prejudice against drinking a full litre.

“You are very much older than I am,” said Winston. “You must have been a grown man before I was born. You can remember what it was like in the old days, before the Revolution. People of my age don’t really know anything about those times. We can only read about them in books, and what it says in the books may not be true. I should like your opinion on that. The history books say that life before the Revolution was completely different from what it is now. There was the most terrible oppression, injustice, poverty. What I really wanted to know was this: do you feel that you have more freedom now than you had in those days? Are you treated more like a human being? In the old days, the rich people, the people at the top—”

“The ‘Ouse of Lords,” put in the old man reminiscently.

“The House of Lords, if you like. What I am asking is, were these people able to treat you as an inferior, simply because they were rich and you were poor? Is it a fact, for instance, that you had to call them “Sir” and take off your cap when you passed them?”

The old man appeared to think deeply. He drank off about a quarter of his beer before answering.

“Yes,” he said. “They liked you to touch your cap to ‘em. It showed respect, like. I didn’t agree with it, myself, but I done it often enough. Had to, as you might say.”

“And was it usual—I’m only quoting what I’ve read in history books—was it usual for these people and their servants to push you off the pavement into the gutter?”

“One of ‘em pushed me once,” said the old man. “I recollect it as if it was yesterday. It was Boat Race night and I bumps into a young bloke on Shaftesbury Avenue. Quite a gent, ‘e was—dress shirt, top ‘at, black overcoat. ‘E was kind of zig-zagging across the pavement, and I bumps into ‘im accidental-like. ‘E says, ‘Why can’t you look where you’re going?’ ‘e says. I say, ‘Ju think you’ve bought the pavement?’ ‘E says, ‘I’ll twist your bloody ‘ead off if you get fresh with me.’ I says, ‘You’re drunk. I’ll give you in charge in ‘alf a minute,’ I says. An’ if you’ll believe me, ‘e puts ‘is ‘and on my chest and gives me a shove as pretty near sent me under the wheels of a bus. Well, I was young in them days, only—”

A sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details.

“Perhaps I have not made myself clear,” he said. “What I’m trying to say is this. You have been alive a very long time; you lived half your life before the Revolution. In 1925, for instance, you were already grown up. Would you say from what you can remember, that life in 1925 was better than it is now, or worse? If you could choose, would you prefer to live then or now?”

The old man finished up his beer, more slowly than before. When he spoke it was with a tolerant philosophical air.

“I know what you expect me to say,” he said. “You expect me to say as I’d sooner be young again. Most people’d say they’d sooner be young, if you arst’ ‘em. You got your ‘ealth and strength when you’re young. When you get to my time of life you ain’t never well. You ain’t got the same worries.”

Winston sat back against the window-sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and went into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again.

When he looked up, he was in a narrow street, with a few dark little shops. Of course! He was standing outside the junk-shop where he had bought the diary.

Fear went through him. He had sworn never to come near the place again. And yet his feet had brought him back here of their own accord.

The owner had just lighted a hanging oil lamp. He was a man of perhaps sixty, with a long, benevolent nose, and mild eyes distorted by thick spectacles. His hair was almost white, but his eyebrows were bushy and still black. He was wearing an aged jacket of black velvet. His voice was soft.

“I recognized you on the pavement,” he said immediately. “You’re the gentleman that bought the young lady’s keepsake album. That was a beautiful bit of paper, that was.” He looked at Winston over the top of his spectacles. “Is there anything I can do for you? Or did you just want to look round?”

“I was passing,” said Winston. “I just looked in. I don’t want anything in particular.”

“It’s just as well,” said the other. “Between you and me, the antique trade’s just about finished. No demand any longer, and no stock either.”

The tiny interior of the shop was uncomfortably full, but there was almost nothing in it of the value. The floorspace was very restricted, because all round the walls were stacked picture-frames. In the window there were trays of nuts and bolts, worn-out chisels, penknives with broken blades, watches that did not even pretend to be working, and other rubbish. Then Winston’s eye was caught by a round, smooth thing that gleamed softly in the lamplight, and he picked it up.

It was a heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat on the other, making almost a hemisphere. At the heart of it was a strange, pink object that recalled a rose or a sea anemone.

“What is it?” said Winston, fascinated.

“That’s coral, that is,” said the old man. “It must have come from the Indian Ocean. They used to kind of embed it in the glass. That wasn’t made less than a hundred years ago. More, by the look of it.”

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Winston.

“It is a beautiful thing,” said the other. “But there’s not many that’d say so nowadays.” He coughed. “Now, if it so happened that you wanted to buy it, that’d cost you four dollars.”

Winston immediately paid over the four dollars and put the thing into his pocket. It was very heavy, but fortunately it did not make much of a bulge.

“There’s another room upstairs that you might care to take a look at,” said the owner. “There’s not much in it. Just a few pieces.”

He lit another lamp, and, led the way slowly up the stairs, into a room. Winston noticed that the furniture was still arranged as though the room were meant to be lived in. There was a strip of carpet on the floor, a picture or two on the walls, and an arm-chair next to the fireplace. An old-fashioned glass clock was ticking away on the mantelpiece. Under the window, and occupying a quarter of the room, was an enormous bed with the mattress still on it.

“We lived here till my wife died,” said the old man. “I’m selling the furniture off by little and little.”

He was holding the lamp high up, so as to illuminate the whole room, and in the warm dim light the place looked inviting. The thought came to Winston that it would probably be quite easy to rent the room for a few dollars a week, if he dared to take the risk. It was a wild, impossible idea; but the room had awakened in him a sort of nostalgia. It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this.

“There’s no telescreen!” he could not help murmuring.

“Ah,” said the old man, “I never had one of those things. Too expensive. And I never seemed to feel the need of it, somehow.”

There was a small bookcase in the other corner, and Winston went towards it. It contained nothing but rubbish. The destruction of books had been done with the same thoroughness in the prole quarters as everywhere else.

“Now, if you happen to be interested in old prints at all—” began the old man.

Winston came across to examine the picture. It was a steel engraving of an oval building with rectangular windows, and a small tower in front. There was a railing running round the building, and at the rear end there was what appeared to be a statue. Winston looked at it for some moments. It seemed familiar.

“I know that building,” said Winston finally. “It’s a ruin now. It’s in the middle of the street outside the Palace of Justice.”

“That’s right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in—oh, many years ago. It was a church at one time, St Clement Danes, its name was.” He smiled and added: “Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement’s!”

“What’s that?” said Winston.

“Oh—“Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement’s.” That was a rhyme we had when I was a little boy. How it goes on I don’t remember, but I do know it ended up, “Here comes a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.” It was a kind of a dance. They held out their arms for you to pass under, and when they came to “Here comes a chopper to chop off your head” they brought their arms down and caught you. It was just names of churches. All the London churches were in it—all the important ones, that is.”

“I never knew it had been a church,” said Winston.

“There’s a lot of them left, really,” said the old man, “though they’ve been put to other uses. Now, how did that rhyme go? Ah! I’ve got it! “Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement’s, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin’s—” there, now, that’s as far as I can get. A farthing, that was a small copper coin, looked something like a cent.”

“Where was St Martin’s?” said Winston.

“St Martin’s? That’s still standing. It’s in Victory Square, alongside the picture gallery. A building with a kind of a triangular porch and pillars in front, and a big flight of steps.”

Winston knew the place well. It was a museum used for propaganda displays.

Winston did not buy the picture.He stayed for some minutes more, talking to the old man, whose name, he discovered, was Charrington. Mr Charrington, it seemed, was a widower aged sixty-three and had inhabited this shop for thirty years.

He got away went down the stairs alone. He had already made up his mind that after a while he would take the risk of visiting the shop again. He would buy scraps of beautiful rubbish. He would buy the engraving of St Clement Danes, take it out of its frame, and carry it home under the jacket of his overalls.

Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement’s, You owe me three farthings, say the—

Suddenly his heart seemed to turn to ice and his bowels to water. A figure in blue overalls was coming down the pavement, not ten metres away. It was the girl from the Fiction Department, the girl with dark hair. She looked him straight in the face, then walked quickly on as though she had not seen him.

For a few seconds Winston was too paralysed to move. Then he turned to the right and walked heavily away, not noticing for the moment that he was going in the wrong direction. There was no doubting any longer that the girl was spying on him. She must have followed him here. It was too great a coincidence. Whether she was really an agent of the Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy, hardly mattered. It was enough that she was watching him.

It was after twenty-two hours when he got back to the flat. He went into the kitchen and swallowed nearly a teacupful of Victory Gin. Then he went to the table in the alcove, sat down, and took the diary out of the drawer. But he did not open it at once. From the telescreen a female voice was singing a patriotic song. He sat staring at the cover of the book, trying without success to shut the voice out of his consciousness.

It was at night that they came for you, always at night. The proper thing was to kill yourself before they got you. Undoubtedly some people did so. Many of the disappearances were actually suicides. But it needed desperate courage to kill yourself in a world where firearms, or any quick and certain poison, were not available.

He opened the diary. It was important to write something down. The woman on the telescreen had started a new song. He tried to think of O’Brien, for whom, or to whom, the diary was written, but instead he began thinking of the things that would happen to him after the Thought Police took him away. It would not matter if they killed you at once. To be killed was what you expected. But before death there was the routine of confession that had to be gone through: the grovelling on the floor and screaming for mercy, the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth.

Why did you have to endure it, since the end was always the same? Why was it not possible to cut a few days or weeks out of your life?

He tried to summon up the image of O’Brien. “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness,” O’Brien had said to him. He knew what it meant, or thought he knew. The place where there is no darkness was the imagined future, which one would never see. But with the voice from the telescreen he could not follow the train of thought. He put a cigarette in his mouth. Half the tobacco fell out on to his tongue. The face of Big Brother swam into his mind. It looked up at him, heavy, calm, protecting: but what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache? The words came back at him:




Part Two

Chapter 1
It was the middle of the morning, and Winston had left the cubicle to go to the lavatory.

A figure was coming towards him from the other end of the corridor. It was the girl with dark hair. Four days had gone past since the evening when he had run into her outside the junk-shop. As she came nearer he saw that her right arm was in a sling, not noticeable at a distance because it was of the same colour as her overalls.

They were perhaps four metres apart when the girl stumbled and fell almost flat on her face with a sharp cry of pain. She must have fallen right on the injured arm. Winston stopped short. The girl had risen to her knees. Her face had turned a milky yellow colour against which her mouth stood out redder than ever. Her eyes were fixed on his.

A curious emotion stirred in Winston’s heart. In front of him was an enemy who was trying to kill him: in front of him, also, was a human creature, in pain and perhaps with a broken bone.

“You’re hurt?” he said.

“It’s nothing. My arm. It’ll be all right in a second.”

She spoke as though her heart were fluttering. She had certainly turned very pale.

“You haven’t broken anything?”

“No, I’m all right. It hurt for a moment, that’s all.”

She held out her free hand to him, and he helped her up. She had regained some of her colour, and appeared very much better.

“It’s nothing,” she repeated shortly. “I only gave my wrist a bit of a bang. Thanks, comrade!”

And with that she walked on in the direction in which she had been going. The whole incident could not have taken as much as half a minute. For Winston, it had been very difficult not to betray a momentary surprise, for in the two or three seconds while he was helping her up the girl had slipped something into his hand. A scrap of paper folded into a square.

While he stood at the urinal he managed to get it unfolded. He was tempted to take it into one of the water-closets and read it at once. But that would be shocking folly. There was no place where you could be more certain that the telescreens were watched continuously.

He went back to his cubicle, sat down, threw the fragment of paper casually among the other papers on the desk, put on his spectacles and hitched the speakwrite towards him.

Whatever was written on the paper, it must have some kind of political meaning. So far as he could see there were two possibilities. One, much the more likely, was that the girl was an agent of the Thought Police, just as he had feared. But there was another, wilder possibility that kept raising its head, though he tried vainly to suppress it. This was, that the message did not come from the Thought Police at all, but from some kind of underground organization. Perhaps the Brotherhood existed after all! Perhaps the girl was part of it!

He rolled up the completed bundle of work and slid it into the pneumatic tube. Eight minutes had gone by. He readjusted his spectacles on his nose, sighed, and drew the next batch of work towards him, with the scrap of paper on top of it. He flattened it out. On it was written, in large handwriting:

For several seconds he was too stunned even to throw the incriminating thing into the memory hole. When he did so, although he knew very well the danger of showing too much interest, he could not resist reading it once again, just to make sure that the words were really there.

For the rest of the morning it was very difficult to work. He felt as though a fire were burning in his belly. Lunch in the hot, crowded, noise-filled canteen was torment. He had hoped to be alone for a little while during the lunch hour, but Parsons flopped down beside him. Once, Winston caught a glimpse of the girl, at a table with two other girls at the far end of the room. She appeared not to have seen him, and he did not look in that direction again.

The afternoon was more bearable. Immediately after lunch there arrived a delicate, difficult piece of work which would take several hours. It consisted in falsifying a series of production reports of two years ago, in such a way as to cast discredit on a prominent member of the Inner Party. This was the kind of thing that Winston was good at, and for more than two hours he succeeded in shutting the girl out of his mind altogether. Then the memory of her face came back, and with it a raging, intolerable desire to be alone. At the sight of the words I LOVE YOU the desire to stay alive had welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid. It was not till twenty-three hours, when he was home and in bed that he was able to think continuously.

It was a physical problem that had to be solved: how to arrange a meeting with the girl. He did not longer consider the possibility that she might be laying some kind of trap for him. Obviously she had been frightened out of her wits,. Nor did the idea of refusing her advances even cross his mind. Only five nights ago he had contemplated smashing her skull in with a cobblestone, but that was of no importance. He thought of her naked, youthful body, as he had seen it in his dream. He had imagined her a fool like all the rest of them, her head stuffed with lies and hatred. What he feared more than anything else was that she would simply change her mind if he did not get in touch with her quickly.

Obviously the kind of encounter that had happened this morning could not be repeated. If she had worked in the Records Department it might have been comparatively simple, but he had only a very dim idea whereabouts in the building the Fiction Department lay, and he had no reason for going there. If he had known where she lived, and at what time she left work, he could have meet her somewhere on her way home; but to try to follow her home was not safe. Sending a letter was out of the question. Finally he decided that the safest place was the canteen. If he could get her at a table by herself, somewhere in the middle of the room, not too near the telescreens,, it might be possible to exchange a few words.

For a week after this, life was like a restless dream. On the next day she did not appear in the canteen until he was leaving it. They passed each other without a glance. On the day after that she was in the canteen at the usual time, but with three other girls and near a telescreen. Then for three dreadful days she did not appear at all. He did not touch the diary during those days. He had absolutely no clue as to what had happened to her.

The next day she reappeared. Her arm was out of the sling and she had a band of sticking-plaster round her wrist. The relief of seeing her was so great that he could not resist staring directly at her for several seconds. On the following day he very nearly succeeded in speaking to her. When he came into the canteen she was sitting at a table well out from the wall, and was quite alone. It was early, and the place was not very full. He walked casually towards her, his eyes searching for a place at some table beyond her. She was perhaps three metres away from him, when a voice behind him called, “Smith!” He pretended not to hear. “Smith!” repeated the voice, more loudly. It was no use. He turned round. A blond-headed, silly-faced young man named Wilsher, whom he barely knew, was inviting him with a smile to a vacant place at his table. It was not safe to refuse. He sat down with a friendly smile.

Next day he took care [9 - took care – позаботился о том]to arrive early. Surely enough, she was at a table alone. The person immediately ahead of him in the queue was a small, swiftly-moving, man. As Winston turned away from the counter with his tray, he saw that the little man was making straight for the girl’s table. With ice at his heart Winston followed. It was no use unless he could get the girl alone. At this moment there was a tremendous crash. The little man was sprawling on all fours, his tray had gone flying, two streams of soup and coffee were flowing across the floor. He started to his feet with a malignant glance at Winston, whom he evidently suspected of having tripped him up. But it was all right. Five seconds later, Winston was sitting at the girl’s table.

He did not look at her. He unpacked his tray and promptly began eating. A terrible fear had taken possession of him. A week had gone by since she had first approached him. She would have changed her mind, she must have changed her mind! It was impossible for this affair to end successfully. There was perhaps a minute in which to act. Both Winston and the girl were eating steadily. Neither of them looked up; they spooned the watery food into their mouths, and between spoonfuls exchanged the few necessary words in low expressionless voices.

“What time do you leave work?”


“Where can we meet?”

“Victory Square, near the monument.”

“It’s full of telescreens.”

“It doesn’t matter if there’s a crowd.”

“Any signal?”

“No. Don’t come up to me until you see me among a lot of people. And don’t look at me. Just keep somewhere near me.”

“What time?”

“Nineteen hours.”

“All right.”

They did not speak again. The girl finished her lunch quickly and made off, while Winston stayed to smoke a cigarette.

Winston was in Victory Square before the appointed time. He wandered round the base of the enormous column, at the top of which Big Brother’s statue gazed southward. In the street in front of it there was a statue of a man on horseback which was supposed to represent Oliver Cromwell. At five minutes past the hour the girl had still not appeared. Again the terrible fear seized upon Winston. She was not coming, she had changed her mind! Then he saw the girl standing at the base of the monument, reading or pretending to read a poster which ran spirally up the column. Suddenly everyone seemed to be running across the square. The girl joined in the rush. Winston followed. As he ran, he gathered from some shouted remarks that a convoy of Eurasian prisoners was passing.

Already a dense mass of people was blocking the south side of the square. Winston squirmed his way forward into the heart of the crowd. Soon he was within arm’s length of the girl. He wriggled himself sideways, and with a violent lunge managed to break through the crowd. He was next to the girl. They were shoulder to shoulder, both staring fixedly in front of them.

A long line of trucks, with wooden-faced guards armed with sub-machine guns standing upright in each corner, was passing slowly down the street. In the trucks little yellow men in shabby greenish uniforms were sitting, jammed close together. Their sad, Mongolian faces gazed out over the sides of the trucks. Winston knew they were there but he saw them only intermittently. The girl’s shoulder, and her arm right down to the elbow, were pressed against his. Her cheek was almost near enough for him to feel its warmth. She had immediately taken charge of the situation, just as she had done in the canteen. She began speaking in the same expressionless voice as before, with lips barely moving.

“Can you hear me?”


“Can you get Sunday afternoon off?”


“Then listen carefully. You’ll have to remember this. Go to Paddington Station—”

She outlined the route that he was to follow. A half-hour railway journey; turn left outside the station; two kilometres along the road; a gate with the top bar missing; a path across a field; a grass-grown lane; a track between bushes; a dead tree with moss on it. It was as though she had a map inside her head. “Can you remember all that?” she murmured finally.


“You turn left, then right, then left again. And the gate’s got no top bar.”

“Yes. What time?”

“About fifteen. You may have to wait. I’ll get there by another way. Are you sure you remember everything?”

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Minitrue – Миниправ

Newspeak – Новояз

Minipax – Минимир

Miniluv – Минилюб

Miniplenty – Миниизо

doublethink – Двоемыслие

came home to him – снизошло на него

Thoughtcrime – Мыслепреступление

took care – позаботился о том
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