Chapter 1

ItwasabrightcolddayinApril,andtheclockswerestrikingthirteen.WinstonSmith,hischinnuzzledintohisbreastinanefforttoescapethevilewind,slippedquicklythroughtheglassdoorsofVictoryMansions,thoughnotquicklyenoughtopreventaswirlofgrittydustfromenteringalongwithhim.

Thehallwaysmeltofboiledcabbageandoldragmats.Atoneendofitacolouredposter,toolargeforindoordisplay,hadbeentackedtothewall.Itdepictedsimplyanenormousface,morethanametrewide:thefaceofamanofaboutforty-five,withaheavyblackmoustacheandruggedlyhandsomefeatures.Winstonmadeforthestairs.Itwasnousetryingthelift.Evenatthebestoftimesitwasseldomworking,andatpresenttheelectriccurrentwascutoffduringdaylighthours.ItwaspartoftheeconomydriveinpreparationforHateWeek.Theflatwassevenflightsup,andWinston,whowasthirty-nineandhadavaricoseulcerabovehisrightankle,wentslowly,restingseveraltimesontheway.Oneachlanding,oppositethelift-shaft,theposterwiththeenormousfacegazedfromthewall.Itwasoneofthosepictureswhicharesocontrivedthattheeyesfollowyouaboutwhenyoumove.BIGBROTHERISWATCHINGYOU,thecaptionbeneathitran.

Insidetheflatafruityvoicewasreadingoutalistoffigureswhichhadsomethingtodowiththeproductionofpig-iron.Thevoicecamefromanoblongmetalplaquelikeadulledmirrorwhichformedpartofthesurfaceoftheright-handwall.Winstonturnedaswitchandthevoicesanksomewhat,thoughthewordswerestilldistinguishable.Theinstrument(thetelescreen,itwascalled)couldbedimmed,buttherewasnowayofshuttingitoffcompletely.Hemovedovertothewindow:asmallish,frailfigure,themeagrenessofhisbodymerelyemphasizedbytheblueoverallswhichweretheuniformoftheparty.

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