Chapter 5

           Ateachstageofhisimprisonmenthehadknown,orseemedtoknow,whereaboutshewasinthewindowlessbuilding. Possiblytherewereslightdifferencesintheairpressure. Thecellswheretheguardshadbeatenhimwerebelowgroundlevel. TheroomwherehehadbeeninterrogatedbyO’Brienwashighupneartheroof. Thisplacewasmanymetresunderground,asdeepdownasitwaspossibletogo. 

           Itwasbiggerthanmostofthecellshehadbeenin. Buthehardlynoticedhissurroundings.Allhenoticedwasthatthereweretwosmalltablesstraightinfrontofhim,eachcoveredwithgreenbaize. Onewasonlyametreortwofromhim,theotherwasfurtheraway,nearthedoor. Hewasstrappeduprightinachair,sotightlythathecouldmovenothing,notevenhishead. Asortofpadgrippedhisheadfrombehind,forcinghimtolookstraightinfrontofhim. 

           Foramomenthewasalone,thenthedooropenedandO’Briencamein. 

           ‘Youaskedmeonce,’saidO’Brien,‘whatwasinRoom101. Itoldyouthatyouknewtheansweralready. Everyoneknowsit. ThethingthatisinRoom101istheworstthingintheworld.’ 

           Thedooropenedagain. Aguardcamein,carryingsomethingmadeofwire,aboxorbasketofsomekind. Hesetitdownonthefurthertable. BecauseofthepositioninwhichO’Brienwasstanding,Winstoncouldnotseewhatthethingwas. 

           ‘Theworstthingintheworld,’saidO’Brien,‘variesfromindividualtoindividual. Itmaybeburialalive,ordeathbyfire,orbydrowning,orbyimpalement,orfiftyotherdeaths. Therearecaseswhereitissomequitetrivialthing,notevenfatal.’ 

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