When he woke it was with the sensation of having slept for a long
time, but a glance at the old-fashioned clock told him that it
was only twenty-thirty. He lay dozing for a while; then the usual
deep-lunged singing struck up from the yard below:
was only an 'opeless fancy,
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an' a word an' the dreams they stirred
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!'
The driveling song seemed to have kept its popularity. You still
heard it all over the place. It had outlived the Hate Song. Julia
woke at the sound, stretched herself luxuriously, and got out
'I'm hungry,' she said. 'Let's make some more coffee. Damn! The
stove's gone out and the water's cold.' She picked the stove up
and shook it. 'There's no oil in it.'
'We can get some from old Charrington, I expect.'
'The funny thing is I made sure it was full. I'm going to put
my clothes on,' she added. 'It seems to have got colder.'
Winston also got up and dressed himself. The indefatigable voice
sye that time 'eals all things,
They sye you can always forget;
But the smiles an' the tears acrorss the years
They twist my 'eart-strings yet!'
he fastened the belt of his overalls he strolled across to the
window. The sun must have gone down behind the houses; it was
not shining into the yard any longer. The flagstones were wet
as though they had just been washed, and he had the feeling that
the sky had been washed too, so fresh and pale was the blue between
the chimney-pots. Tirelessly the woman marched to and fro, corking
and uncorking herself, singing and falling silent, and pegging
out more diapers, and more and yet more. He wondered whether she
took in washing for a living or was merely the slave of twenty
or thirty grandchildren. Julia had come across to his side; together
they gazed down with a sort of fascination at the sturdy figure
below. As he looked at the woman in her characteristic attitude,
her thick arms reaching up for the line, her powerful mare-like
buttocks protruded, it struck him for the first time that she
was beautiful. It had never before occurred to him that the body
of a woman of fifty, blown up to monstrous dimensions by childbearing,
then hardened, roughened by work till it was coarse in the grain
like an over-ripe turnip, could be beautiful. But it was so, and
after all, he thought, why not? The solid, contourless body, like
a block of granite, and the rasping red skin, bore the same relation
to the body of a girl as the rose-hip to the rose. Why should
the fruit be held inferior to the flower?
'She's beautiful,' he murmured.
'She's a metre across the hips, easily,' said Julia.
'That is her style of beauty,' said Winston.
He held Julia's supple waist easily encircled by his arm. From
the hip to the knee her flank was against his. Out of their bodies
no child would ever come. That was the one thing they could never
do. Only by word of mouth, from mind to mind, could they pass
on the secret. The woman down there had no mind, she had only
strong arms, a warm heart, and a fertile belly. He wondered how
many children she had given birth to. It might easily be fifteen.
She had had her momentary flowering, a year, perhaps, of wild-rose
beauty and then she had suddenly swollen like a fertilized fruit
and grown hard and red and coarse, and then her life had been
laundering, scrubbing, darning, cooking, sweeping, polishing,
mending, scrubbing, laundering, first for children, then for grandchildren,
over thirty unbroken years. At the end of it she was still singing.
The mystical reverence that he felt for her was somehow mixed
up with the aspect of the pale, cloudless sky, stretching away
behind the chimney-pots into interminable distance. It was curious
to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or
Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also
very much the same -- everywhere, all over the world, hundreds
of thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant
of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and
lies, and yet almost exactly the same -- people who had never
learned to think but who were storing up in their hearts and bellies
and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If
there was hope, it lay in the proles! Without having read to the
end of the book, he knew that that must be Goldstein's
final message. The future belonged to the proles. And could he
be sure that when their time came the world they constructed would
not be just as alien to him, Winston Smith, as the world of the
Party? Yes, because at the least it would be a world of sanity.
Where there is equality there can be sanity. Sooner or later it
would happen, strength would change into consciousness. The proles
were immortal, you could not doubt it when you looked at that
valiant figure in the yard. In the end their awakening would come.
And until that happened, though it might be a thousand years,
they would stay alive against all the odds, like birds, passing
on from body to body the vitality which the Party did not share
and could not kill.
'Do you remember,' he said, 'the thrush that sang to us, that
first day, at the edge of the wood?'
'He wasn't singing to us,' said Julia. 'He was singing to please
himself. Not even that. He was just singing.'
The birds sang, the proles sang. the Party did not sing. All round
the world, in London and New York, in Africa and Brazil, and in
the mysterious, forbidden lands beyond the frontiers, in the streets
of Paris and Berlin, in the villages of the endless Russian plain,
in the bazaars of China and Japan -- everywhere stood the same
solid unconquerable figure, made monstrous by work and childbearing,
toiling from birth to death and still singing. Out of those mighty
loins a race of conscious beings must one day come. You were the
dead, theirs was the future. But you could share in that future
if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the body, and passed
on the secret doctrine that two plus two make four.
'We are the dead,' he said.
'We are the dead,' echoed Julia dutifully.
'You are the dead,' said an iron voice behind them.
They sprang apart. Winston's entrails seemed to have turned into
ice. He could see the white all round the irises of Julia's eyes.
Her face had turned a milky yellow. The smear of rouge that was
still on each cheekbone stood out sharply, almost as though unconnected
with the skin beneath.
'You are the dead,' repeated the iron voice.
'It was behind the picture,' breathed Julia.
'It was behind the picture,' said the voice. 'Remain exactly where
you are. Make no movement until you are ordered.'
It was starting, it was starting at last! They could do nothing
except stand gazing into one another's eyes. To run for life,
to get out of the house before it was too late -- no such thought
occurred to them. Unthinkable to disobey the iron voice from the
wall. There was a snap as though a catch had been turned back,
and a crash of breaking glass. The picture had fallen to the floor
uncovering the telescreen behind it.
'Now they can see us,' said Julia.
'Now we can see you,' said the voice. 'Stand out in the middle
of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands behind your
heads. Do not touch one another.'
They were not touching, but it seemed to him that he could feel
Julia's body shaking. Or perhaps it was merely the shaking of
his own. He could just stop his teeth from chattering, but his
knees were beyond his control. There was a sound of trampling
boots below, inside the house and outside. The yard seemed to
be full of men. Something was being dragged across the stones.
The woman's singing had stopped abruptly. There was a long, rolling
clang, as though the washtub had been flung across the yard, and
then a confusion of angry shouts which ended in a yell of pain.
'The house is surrounded,' said Winston.
'The house is surrounded,' said the voice.
He heard Julia snap her teeth together. 'I suppose we may as well
say good-bye,' she said.
'You may as well say good-bye,' said the voice. And then another
quite different voice, a thin, cultivated voice which Winston
had the impression of having heard before, struck in; 'And by
the way, while we are on the subject, "Here comes a candle to
light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head"!'
Something crashed on to the bed behind Winston's back. The head
of a ladder had been thrust through the window and had burst in
the frame. Someone was climbing through the window. There was
a stampede of boots up the stairs. The room was full of solid
men in black uniforms, with iron-shod boots on their feet and
truncheons in their hands.
Winston was not trembling any longer. Even his eyes he barely
moved. One thing alone mattered; to keep still, to keep still
and not give them an excuse to hit you! A man with a smooth prizefighter's
jowl in which the mouth was only a slit paused opposite him balancing
his truncheon meditatively between thumb and forefinger. Winston
met his eyes. The feeling of nakedness, with one's hands behind
one's head and one's face and body all exposed, was almost unbearable.
The man protruded the tip of a white tongue, licked the place
where his lips should have been, and then passed on. There was
another crash. Someone had picked up the glass paperweight from
the table and smashed it to pieces on the hearth-stone.
The fragment of coral, a tiny crinkle of pink like a sugar rosebud
from a cake, rolled across the mat. How small, thought Winston,
how small it always was! There was a gasp and a thump behind him,
and he received a violent kick on the ankle which nearly flung
him off his balance. One of the men had smashed his fist into
Julia's solar plexus, doubling her up like a pocket ruler. She
was thrashing about on the floor, fighting for breath. Winston
dared not turn his head even by a millimetre, but sometimes her
livid, gasping face came within the angle of his vision. Even
in his terror it was as though he could feel the pain in his own
body, the deadly pain which nevertheless was less urgent than
the struggle to get back her breath. He knew what it was like;
the terrible, agonizing pain which was there all the while but
could not be suffered yet, because before all else it was necessary
to be able to breathe. Then two of the men hoisted her up by knees
and shoulders, and carried her out of the room like a sack. Winston
had a glimpse of her face, upside down, yellow and contorted,
with the eyes shut, and still with a smear of rouge on either
cheek; and that was the last he saw of her.
He stood dead still. No one had hit him yet. Thoughts which came
of their own accord but seemed totally uninteresting began to
flit through his mind. He wondered whether they had got Mr Charrington.
He wondered what they had done to the woman in the yard. He noticed
that he badly wanted to urinate, and felt a faint surprise, because
he had done so only two or three hours ago. He noticed that the
clock on the mantelpiece said nine, meaning twenty-one. But the
light seemed too strong. Would not the light be fading at twenty-one
hours on an August evening? He wondered whether after all he and
Julia had mistaken the time -- had slept the clock round and thought
it was twenty-thirty when really it was nought eight-thirty on
the following morning. But he did not pursue the thought further.
It was not interesting.
There was another, lighter step in the passage. Mr Charrington
came into the room. The demeanour of the black-uniformed men suddenly
became more subdued. Something had also changed in Mr Charrington's
appearance. His eye fell on the fragments of the glass paperweight.
'Pick up those pieces,' he said sharply.
A man stooped to obey. The cockney accent had disappeared; Winston
suddenly realized whose voice it was that he had heard a few moments
ago on the telescreen. Mr Charrington was still wearing his old
velvet jacket, but his hair, which had been almost white, had
turned black. Also he was not wearing his spectacles. He gave
Winston a single sharp glance, as though verifying his identity,
and then paid no more attention to him. He was still recognizable,
but he was not the same person any longer. His body had straightened,
and seemed to have grown bigger. His face had undergone only tiny
changes that had nevertheless worked a complete transformation.
The black eyebrows were less bushy, the wrinkles were gone, the
whole lines of the face seemed to have altered; even the nose
seemed shorter. It was the alert, cold face of a man of about
five-and-thirty. It occurred to Winston that for the first time
in his life he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the
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