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Part 1 Chapter 5
In the low-ceilinged canteen, deep underground, the lunch queue jerked slowly forward. The room was already very full and deafeningly noisy. From the grille at the counter the steam of stew came pouring forth, with a sour metallic smell which did not quite overcome the fumes of Victory Gin. On the far side of the room there was a small bar, a mere hole in the wall, where gin could be bought at ten cents the large nip.

'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. Indeed, he was one of the enormous team of experts now engaged in compiling the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. He was a tiny creature, smaller than Winston, with dark hair and large, protuberant eyes, at once mournful and derisive, which seemed to search your face closely while he was speaking to you.

'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.'

Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Actually he had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. There had been a famine of them for months past. At any given moment there was some necessary article which the Party shops were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was shoelaces; at present it was razor blades. You could only get hold of them, if at all, by scrounging more or less furtively on the 'free' market.

'I've been using the same blade for six weeks,' he added untruthfully.

The queue gave another jerk forward. As they halted he turned and faced Syme again. Each of them took a greasy metal tray from a pile at the end of the counter.

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

'I was working,' said Winston indifferently. 'I shall see it on the flicks, I suppose.'

'A very inadequate substitute,' said Syme.

His mocking eyes roved over Winston's face. 'I know you,' the eyes seemed to say, 'I see through you. I know very well why you didn't go to see those prisoners hanged.' In an intellectual way, Syme was venomously orthodox. He would talk with a disagreeable gloating satisfaction of helicopter raids on enemy villages, and trials and confessions of thought-criminals, the executions in the cellars of the Ministry of Love. Talking to him was largely a matter of getting him away from such subjects and entangling him, if possible, in the technicalities of Newspeak, on which he was authoritative and interesting. Winston turned his head a little aside to avoid the scrutiny of the large dark eyes.

'It was a good hanging,' said Syme reminiscently. '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.'

'Nex', please!' yelled the white-aproned prole with the ladle.

Winston and Syme pushed their trays beneath the grille. On to each was dumped swiftly the regulation lunch -- a metal pannikin of pinkish-grey 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 threaded their way across the crowded room and unpacked their trays on to the metal-topped table, on one corner of which someone had left a pool of stew, a filthy liquid mess that had the appearance of vomit. Winston took up his mug of gin, paused for an instant to collect his nerve, and gulped the oily-tasting stuff down. When he had winked the tears out of his eyes he suddenly discovered that he was hungry. He began swallowing spoonfuls of the stew, which, in among its general sloppiness, had cubes of spongy pinkish stuff which was probably a preparation of meat. Neither of them spoke again till they had emptied their pannikins. From the table at Winston's left, a little behind his back, someone was talking rapidly and continuously, a harsh gabble almost like the quacking of a duck, which pierced the general uproar of the room.

'How is the Dictionary getting on?' said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise.

'Slowly,' said Syme. 'I'm on the adjectives. It's fascinating.'

He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without shouting.

'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. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words -- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.'

He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of pedant's passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his eyes had lost their mocking expression and grown almost dreamy.

'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. 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 "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words -- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course,' he added as an afterthought.

A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately detected a certain 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. In your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?'

Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on:

'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. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. '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 checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined what he was about to say.

'The proles are not human beings,' he said carelessly. 'By 2050 earlier, probably -- all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron -- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.'

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. He turned a little sideways in his chair to drink his mug of coffee. At the table on his left the man with the strident voice was still talking remorselessly away. A young woman who was perhaps his secretary, and who was sitting with her back to Winston, was listening to him and seemed to be eagerly agreeing with everything that he said. From time to time Winston caught some such remark as 'I think you're so right, I do so agree with you', uttered in a youthful and rather silly feminine voice. But the other voice never stopped for an instant, even when the girl was speaking. Winston knew the man by sight, though he knew no more about him than that he held some important post in the Fiction Department. He was a man of about thirty, with a muscular throat and a large, mobile mouth. His head was thrown back a little, and because of the angle at which he was sitting, his spectacles caught the light and presented to Winston two blank discs instead of eyes. What was slightly horrible, was that from the stream of sound that poured out of his mouth it was almost impossible to distinguish a single word. Just once Winston caught a phrase -'complete and final elimination of Goldsteinism'- jerked out very rapidly and, as it seemed, all in one piece, like a line of type cast solid. For the rest it was just a noise, a quack-quack-quacking. And yet, though you could not actually hear what the man was saying, you could not be in any doubt about its general nature. He might be denouncing Goldstein and demanding sterner measures against thought-criminals and saboteurs, he might be fulminating against the atrocities of the Eurasian army, he might be praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar front -- it made no difference. Whatever it was, you could be certain that every word of it was pure orthodoxy, pure Ingsoc. As he watched the eyeless face with the jaw moving rapidly up and down, Winston had a curious feeling that this was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It was not the man's brain that was speaking, it was his larynx. The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.

Syme had fallen silent for a moment, and with the handle of his spoon was tracing patterns in the puddle of stew. The voice from the other table quacked rapidly on, easily audible in spite of the surrounding din.

'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, although well knowing that Syme despised him and slightly disliked him, and was fully capable of denouncing him as a thought-criminal if he saw any reason for doing so. 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 venerated Big Brother, he rejoiced over victories, he hated heretics, not merely with sincerity but with a sort of restless zeal, an up-to-dateness of information, which the ordinary Party member did not approach. Yet a faint air of disreputability always clung to him. He said things that would have been better unsaid, he had read too many books, he frequented the Chestnut Tree Cafe, haunt of painters and musicians. There was no law, not even an unwritten law, against frequenting the Chestnut Tree Cafe, yet the place was somehow ill-omened. The old, discredited leaders of the Party had been used to gather there before they were finally purged. Goldstein himself, it was said, had sometimes been seen there, years and decades ago. Syme's fate was not difficult to foresee. And yet it was a fact that if Syme grasped, even for three seconds, the nature of his, Winston's, secret opinions, he would betray him instantly to the Thought Police. So would anybody else, for that matter: but Syme more than most. Zeal was not enough. Orthodoxy was unconsciousness.

Syme looked up. 'Here comes Parsons,' he said.

Something in the tone of his voice seemed to add, 'that bloody fool'. Parsons, Winston's fellow-tenant at Victory Mansions, was in fact threading his way across the room -- a tubby, middle-sized man with fair hair and a froglike face. At thirty-five he was already putting on rolls of fat at neck and waistline, but his movements were brisk and boyish. His whole appearance was that of a little boy grown large, so much so that although he was wearing the regulation overalls, it was almost impossible not to think of him as being dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirt, and red neckerchief of the Spies. In visualizing him one saw always a picture of dimpled knees and sleeves rolled back from pudgy forearms. Parsons did, indeed, invariably revert to shorts when a community hike or any other physical activity gave him an excuse for doing so. He greeted them both with a cheery 'Hullo, hullo!' and sat down at the table, giving off an intense smell of sweat. Beads of moisture stood out all over his pink face. His powers of sweating were extraordinary. At the Community Centre you could always tell when he had been playing table-tennis by the dampness of the bat handle. Syme had produced a strip of paper on which there was a long column of words, and was studying it with an ink-pencil between his fingers.

'Look at him working away in the lunch hour,' said Parsons, nudging Winston. 'Keenness, eh? What's that you've got there, old boy? Something a bit too brainy for me, I expect. 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. About a quarter of one's salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them.

'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. I tell you, it won't be my fault if old Victory Mansions doesn't have the biggest outfit of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you promised me.'

Winston found and handed over two creased and filthy notes, which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.

'By the way, old boy,' he said. 'I hear that little beggar of mine let fly at you with his catapult yesterday. I gave him a good dressing-down for it. In fact 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? Mischievous little beggars they are, both of them, but talk about keenness! All they think about is the Spies, and the war, of course. D'you know what that little girl of mine did last Saturday, when her troop was on a hike out Berkhamsted way? 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, somewhat taken aback. Parsons went on triumphantly:

'My kid made sure he was some kind of enemy agent -- might have been dropped by parachute, for instance. But here's the point, old boy. What do you think put her on to him in the first place? 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 for a nipper of seven, 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 abstractedly, without looking up from his strip of paper.

'Of course we can't afford to take chances,' agreed Winston dutifully.

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

As though in confirmation of this, a trumpet call floated from the telescreen just above their heads. However, it was not the proclamation of a military victory this time, but merely an announcement from the Ministry of Plenty.

'Comrades!' cried an eager youthful voice. 'Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Returns now completed of the output of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 per cent over the past year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible 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 which his wise leadership has bestowed upon us. Here are some of the completed figures. Foodstuffs-'

The phrase 'our new, happy life' recurred several times. It had been a favourite of late with the Ministry of Plenty. Parsons, his attention caught by the trumpet call, sat listening with a sort of gaping solemnity, a sort of edified boredom. He could not follow the figures, but he was aware that they were in some way a cause for satisfaction. He had lugged out a huge and filthy pipe which was already half full of charred tobacco. With the tobacco ration at 100 grammes a week it was seldom possible to fill a pipe to the top. Winston was smoking a Victory Cigarette which he held carefully horizontal. The new ration did not start till tomorrow and he had only four cigarettes left. For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes. Syme, too-in some more complex way, involving doublethink, Syme swallowed it. Was he, then, alone in the possession of a memory?
The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the telescreen. As compared with last year there was more food, more clothes, more houses, more furniture, more cooking-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more books, more babies -- more of everything except disease, crime, and insanity. Year by year and minute by minute, everybody and everything was whizzing rapidly upwards. As Syme had done earlier Winston had taken up his spoon and was dabbling in the pale-coloured gravy that dribbled across the table, drawing a long streak of it out into a pattern. He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of life. Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted like this? He looked round the canteen. A low-ceilinged, crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innumerable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy, grime in every crack; and a sourish, composite smell of bad gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. Always in your stomach and in your skin there was a sort of protest, a feeling that you had been cheated of something that you had a right to. It was true that he had no memories of anything greatly different. In any time that he could accurately remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient -- nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin. And though, of course, it grew worse as one's body aged, was it not a sign that this was not the natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one's socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?

He 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, curiously beetle-like man was drinking a cup of coffee, his little eyes darting suspicious glances from side to side. 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 in Airstrip One were small, dark, and ill-favoured. It was curious how that beetle-like type proliferated in the Ministries: little dumpy men, growing stout very early in life, with short legs, swift scuttling movements, and fat inscrutable faces with very small eyes. It was the type that seemed to flourish best under the dominion of the Party.

The announcement from the Ministry of Plenty ended on another trumpet call and gave way to tinny music. Parsons, stirred to vague enthusiasm by the bombardment of figures, 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.

The quacking voice from the next table, temporarily silenced during the Ministry's announcement, had started up again, as loud as ever. For some reason Winston suddenly found himself thinking of Mrs Parsons, with her wispy hair and the dust in the creases of her face. 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. The eyeless creature with the quacking voice would never be vaporized. The little beetle-like men who scuttle so nimbly through the labyrinthine corridors of Ministries they, too, would never be vaporized. And the girl with dark hair, the girl from the Fiction Department -- she would never be vaporized either. It seemed to him that he knew instinctively who would survive and who would perish: though just what it was that made for survival, it was not easy to say.

At this moment he was dragged out of his reverie with a violent jerk. The girl at the next table had turned partly round and was looking at him. It was the girl with dark hair. She was looking at him in a sidelong way, but with curious intensity. The instant she caught his eye she looked away again.

The sweat started out on Winston's backbone. A horrible pang of terror went through him. It was gone almost at once, but it left a sort of nagging uneasiness behind. Why was she watching him? Why did she keep following him about? Unfortunately he could not remember whether she had already been at the table when he arrived, or had come there afterwards. But yesterday, at any rate, during the Two Minutes Hate, she had sat immediately behind him when there was no apparent need to do so. Quite likely her real object had been to listen to him and make sure whether he was shouting loudly enough.

His earlier thought returned to him: probably she was not actually a member of the Thought Police, but then it was precisely the amateur spy who was the greatest danger of all. He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself -- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

The girl had turned her back on him again. Perhaps after all she was not really following him about, 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. Quite likely the person at the next table was a spy of the Thought Police, and quite likely he would be in the cellars of the Ministry of Love within three days, but a cigarette end must not be wasted. Syme had folded up his strip of paper and stowed it away in his pocket. Parsons had begun talking again.

'Did I ever tell you, old boy,' he said, chuckling round the stem of his pipe, 'about the time when those two nippers of mine 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. Little beggars, eh? But keen as mustard! That's a first-rate training they give them in the Spies nowadays -- better than in my day, even. What d'you think's the latest thing they've served them out with? Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes! My little girl brought one home the other night -- tried it out on our sitting-room door, and reckoned she could hear twice as much as with her ear to the hole. Of course it's only a toy, mind you. Still, gives 'em the right idea, eh?'

At this moment the telescreen let out a piercing whistle. It was the signal to return to work. All three men sprang to their feet to join in the struggle round the lifts, and the remaining tobacco fell out of Winston's cigarette.




在地下深处、天花板低低的食堂里,午饭的队伍挪动得很慢。屋子里已经很满了,人声喧哗。柜台上铁窗里面炖菜的蒸气往外直冒,带有一种铁腥的酸味,却盖不过胜利牌杜松子酒的酒气。在屋子的那一头有一个小酒吧,其实只不过是墙上的一个小洞,花一角钱可以在那里买到一大杯杜松子酒。

“正是我要找的人,”温斯顿背后有人说。

他转过身去,原来是他的朋友赛麦,是在研究司工作的。也许确切地说,谈不上是“朋友”。如今时世,没有朋友,只有同志。不过同某一些同志来往,比别的同志愉快一些。赛麦是个语言学家,新话专家。说实在的,他是目前一大批正在编辑新话词典十一版的专家之一。他个子很小,比温斯顿还小,一头黑发,眼睛突出,带有既悲伤又嘲弄的神色,在他同你说话的时候,他的大眼睛似乎在仔细地探索着你的脸。

“我想问你一下,你有没有刀片?”他说。

“一片也没有!”温斯顿有些心虚似的急忙说。“我到处都问过了。它们不再存在了。”

人人都问你要刀片。事实上,他攒了两片没有用过的刀片。几个月来刀片一直缺货。不论什么时候,总有一些必需品,党营商店里无法供应。有时是扣子,有时是线,有时是鞋带;现在是刀片。你只有偷偷摸摸地到“自由”市上去掏才能搞到一些。

“我这一片已经用了六个星期了,”他不真实地补充一句。队伍又往前进了一步。他们停下来时他又回过头来对着赛麦。他们两人都从柜台边上一堆铁盘中取了一只油腻腻的盘子。

“你昨天没有去看吊死战俘吗?”赛麦问。

“我有工作,”温斯顿冷淡地说。“我想可以从电影上看到吧。”

“这可太差劲了,”赛麦说。

他的嘲笑的眼光在温斯顿的脸上转来转去。“我知道你,”他的眼睛似乎在说,“我看穿了你,我很明白,你为什么不去看吊死战俘。”以一个知识分子来说,赛麦思想正统,到了恶毒的程度。他常常会幸灾乐祸得令人厌恶地谈论直升飞机对敌人村庄的袭击,思想犯的审讯和招供,友爱部地下室里的处决。同他谈话主要是要设法把他从这种话题引开去,尽可能用有关新话的技术问题来套住他,因为他对此有兴趣,也是个权威。温斯顿把脑袋转开去一些,避免他黑色大眼睛的探索。

“吊得很干净利落,”赛麦回忆说。“不过我觉得他们把他们的脚绑了起来,这是美中不足。我欢喜看他们双脚乱蹦乱跳。尤其是,到最后,舌头伸了出来,颜色发青——很青很青。我喜欢看这种小地方。”

“下一个!”穿着白围裙的无产者手中拿着一个勺子叫道。

温斯顿和赛麦把他们的盘子放在铁窗下。那个工人马上绘他们的盘子里盛了一份中饭——一盒暗红色的炖菜,一块面包,一小块干酪,一杯无奶的胜利咖啡,一片糖精。

“那边有张空桌,在电幕下面,”赛麦说。“我们顺道带杯酒过去。”

盛酒的缸子没有把。他们穿过人头挤挤的屋子到那空桌边,在铁皮桌面上放下盘子,桌子一角有人撒了一滩炖菜,黏糊糊地象呕吐出来的一样。温斯顿拿起酒缸,顿了一下,硬起头皮,咕噜一口吞下了带油味的酒。他眨着眼睛,等泪水流出来以后,发现肚子已经俄了,就开始一匙一匙地吃起炖菜来,炖菜中除了稀糊糊以外,还有一块块软绵绵发红的东西,大概是肉做的。他们把小菜盒中的炖菜吃完以前都没有再说话。温斯顿左边桌上,在他背后不远,有个人在喋喋不休地说话,声音粗哑,仿佛鸭子叫,在屋子里的一片喧哗声中特别刺耳。

“词典进行得怎么样了?”温斯顿大声说,要想盖过室内的喧哗。

“很慢,”赛麦说。“我现在在搞形容调。很有意思。”

一提到新话,他的精神马上就来了。他把菜盒推开,一只细长的手拿起那块面包,另一只手拿起干酪,身子向前俯在桌上,为了不用大声说话。

“第十一版是最后定稿本,”他说。“我们的工作是决定语言的最后形式——也就是大家都只用这种语言说话的时候的形式。我们的工作完成后,象你这样的人就得从头学习。

我敢说,你一定以为我们主要的工作是创造新词儿。一点也不对!我们是在消灭老词儿——几十个,几百个地消灭,每天在消灭。我们把语言削减到只剩下骨架。十一版中没有一个词儿在2050年以前会陈旧过时的。”

他狼吞虎咽地啃着他的面包,咽下了几大口,然后又继续说,带着学究式的热情。他的黝黑瘦削的脸庞开始活跃起来,眼光失去了嘲笑的神情,几乎有些梦意了。

“消灭词汇是件很有意思的事情。当然,最大的浪费在于动词和形容词,但是也有好几百个名词也可以不要。不仅是同义词,也包括反义词。说真的,如果一个词不过是另一个词的反面,那有什么理由存在呢?以‘好’为例。如果你有一个‘好’宇,为什么还需要‘坏’字?‘不好’就行了——而且还更好,因为这正好是 ‘好’的反面,而另外一字却不是。再比如,如果你要一个比‘好’更强一些的词儿,为什么要一连串象‘精采’、‘出色’等等含混不清、毫无用处的词儿呢?

‘加好’就包含这一切意义了,如果还要强一些,就用‘双加好’‘倍加好’。当然,这些形式,我们现在已经在采用了,但是在新话的最后版本中,就没有别的了。最后,整个好和坏的概念就只用六个词儿来概括——实际上,只用一个词儿。温斯顿,你是不是觉得这很妙?当然,这原来是老大哥的主意,”他事后补充说。

一听到老大哥,温斯顿的脸上就有一种肃然起敬的神色一闪而过。但是赛麦还是马上察觉到缺乏一定的热情。

“温斯顿,你并没真正领略到新话的妙处,”他几乎悲哀地说。“哪怕你用新话写作,你仍在用老话思索。我读过几篇你有时为《泰晤士报》写的文章。这些文章写得不错,但它们是翻译。你的心里仍喜欢用老话,尽管它含糊不清,辞义变化细微,但没有任何用处。你不理解消灭词汇的妙处。你难道不知道新话是世界上唯一的词汇量逐年减少的语言?”

当然,温斯顿不知道。他不敢说话,但愿自己脸上露出赞同的笑容。赛麦又咬一口深色的面包,嚼了几下,又继续说:

“你难道不明白,新话的全部目的是要缩小思想的范围?

最后我们要使得大家在实际上不可能犯任何思想罪,因为将来没有词汇可以表达。凡是有必要使用的概念,都只有一个词来表达,意义受到严格限制,一切附带含意都被消除忘掉。在十一版中,我们距离这一目标已经不远了。但这一过程在你我死后还需要长期继续下去。词汇逐年减少,意识的范围也就越来越小。当然,即使在现在,也没有理由或借口可以犯思想罪。这仅仅是个自觉问题,现实控制问题。但最终,甚至这样的需要也没有了。语言完善之时,即革命完成之日。新话即英社,英社即新话,”他带着一种神秘的满意神情补充说。“温斯顿,你有没有想到过,最迟到2050年,没有一个活着的人能听懂我们现在的这样谈话?”

“除了——”温斯顿迟疑地说,但又闭上了嘴。

到了他嘴边的话是“除了无产者,”但是他克制住了自己不完全有把握这句话是不是有些不正统。但是,赛麦已猜到了他要说的话。

“无产者不是人,”他轻率地说。“到2050年,也许还要早些,所有关于老话的实际知识都要消失。过去的全部文学都要销毁,乔叟、莎士比亚、密尔顿、拜伦 ——他们只存在于新话的版本中,不只改成了不同的东西,而且改成了同他们原来相反的东西。甚至党的书籍也要改变。甚至口号也要改变。自由的概念也被取消了,你怎么还能叫‘自由即奴役’的口号?届时整个思想气氛就要不同了。事实上,将来不会再有象我们今天所了解的那种思想。正统的意思是不想——不需要想。正统即没有意识。”

温斯顿突然相信,总有一天,赛麦要化为乌有。他太聪明了。他看得太清楚了,说得太直率了。党不喜欢这样的人。有一天他会失踪。这个结果清清楚楚地写在他的脸上。

温斯顿吃完了面包和干酪。他坐在椅中略为侧过身子去喝他的那缸咖啡。坐在他左边桌子的那个嗓子刺耳的人仍在喋喋不休地说着话。一个青年女人大概是他的秘书,背对着温斯顿坐在那里听他说话,对他说的一切话似乎都表示很赞成。温斯顿不时地听到一两句这样的话:“你说得真对,我完全(so)同意你,”这是个年轻但有些愚蠢的女人嗓子。但是另外那个人的声音却从来没有停止过,即使那姑娘插话的时候,也仍在喋喋不休。温斯顿认识那个人的脸,但是他只知道他在小说司据有一个重要的职位。他年约三十,喉头发达,嘴皮灵活。他的脑袋向后仰一些,由于他坐着的角度,他的眼镜有反光,使温斯顿只看见两片玻璃,而看不见眼睛。使人感到有些受不了的是,从他嘴里滔滔不绝地发出来的声音中,几乎连一个宇也听不清楚。温斯顿只听到过一句话——“完全彻底消灭果尔德施坦因主义”——这话说得很快,好象铸成一行的铅字一样,完整一块。别的就完全是呱呱呱的噪声了。但是,你虽然听不清那个人究竟在说些什么,你还是可以毫无疑问地了解他说的话的一般内容。他可能是在谴责果尔德施坦因,要求对思想犯和破坏分子采取更加严厉的措施。他也可能是在谴责欧亚国军队的暴行,“他也可能在歌颂老大哥或者马拉巴前线的英雄——这都没有什么不同.不论他说的是什么,你可以肯定,每一句话都是纯粹正统的,纯粹英社的。温斯顿看着那张没有眼睛的脸上的嘴巴忙个不停在一张一合,心中有一种奇怪的感觉,觉得这不是一个真正的人,而是一种假人。说话的不是那个人的脑子,而是他的喉头。说出来的东西虽然是用词儿组成的,但不是真正的话,而是在无意识状态中发出来的闹声,象鸭子呱呱叫一样。

赛麦这时沉默了一会,他拿着汤匙在桌上一摊稀糊糊中划来划去。另一张桌子上的那个人继续飞快地在哇哇说着,尽管室内喧哗,还是可以听见。

“新话中有一个词儿,”赛麦说,“我不知道你是不是知道,叫鸭话(duckspeak),就是象鸭子那样呱呱叫。这种词儿很有意思,它有两个相反的含意。用在对方,这是骂人的;用在你同意的人身上,这是称赞。”

毫无疑问,赛麦是要化为乌有的。温斯顿又想。他这么想时心中不免感到有些悲哀,尽管他明知赛麦瞧不起他,有点不喜欢他,而且完全有可能,只要他认为有理由,就会揭发他是个思想犯。反正,赛麦有什么不对头的地方,究竟什么地方不对头,他也说不上来。赛麦有着他所缺少的一些什么东西:

谨慎、超脱、一种可以免于患难的愚蠢。你不能说他是不正统的。他相信英社的原则,他尊敬老大哥,他欢庆胜利,他憎恨异端,不仅出于真心诚意,而且有着一种按捺不住的热情,了解最新的情况,而这是普通党员所得不到的。但是他身上总是有着一种靠不住的样子。他总是说一些最好不说为妙的话,他读书太多,又常常光顾栗树咖啡馆,那是画家和音乐家聚会的地方。并没有法律,哪怕是不成文的法律,禁止你光顾栗树咖啡馆,但是去那个地方还是有点危险的。一些遭到谴责的党的创始领导人在最后被清洗之前常去那个地方。据说,果尔德施坦因本人也曾经去过那里,那是好几年,好几十年以前的事了。赛麦的下场是不难预见的。但是可以肯定的是,只要赛麦发觉他的——温斯顿的——隐藏的思想,那怕只有三秒钟,他也会马上向思想警察告发的。

不过,别人也会一样,但是赛麦尤其会如此。光有热情还不够。正统思想就是没有意识。

赛麦抬起头来。“派逊斯来了,”他说。

他的话声中似乎有这样的意思:“那个可恶的大傻瓜。”派逊斯是温斯顿在胜利大厦的邻居,他真的穿过屋子过来了。

他是个胖乎乎的中等身材的人,淡黄的头发,青蛙一样的脸。他年才三十五岁,脖子上和腰围上就长出一圈圈的肥肉来了,但是他的动作仍很敏捷、孩子气。他的整个外表象个发育过早的小男孩,以致他虽然穿着制服,你仍然不由得觉得他象穿着少年侦察队的蓝短裤、灰衬衫、红领巾一样。你一闭起眼睛来想他,脑海里就出现胖乎乎的膝盖和卷起袖子的又短又粗的胳膊。事实也的确是这样,只要一有机会,比如集体远足或者其他体育活动时,他就总穿上短裤。他愉快地叫着“哈罗,哈罗!”向他们两人打招呼,在桌边坐了下来,马上带来一股强烈的汗臭。他的红红的脸上尽是挂着汗珠,他出汗的本领特别。在邻里活动中心站,你一看到球拍是湿的,就可以知道刚才他打过乒乓球。赛麦拿出一张纸来,上面有一长列的字,他拿着一支墨水铅笔在看着。

“你瞧他吃饭的时候也在工作,”派逊斯推一推温斯顿说。“工作积极,嗳?伙计,你看的是什么?对我这样一个粗人大概太高深了。史密斯,伙计,我告诉你为什么到处找你。你忘记向我缴款了。”

“什么款?”温斯顿问,一边自动地去掏钱。每人的工资约有四分之一得留起来付各种各样的志愿捐献,名目之多,使你很难记清。

“仇恨周的捐献。你知道——按住房分片的。我是咱们这一片的会计。咱们正在作出最大的努力——要做出成绩来。我告诉你,如果胜利大厦挂出来的旗帜不是咱们那条街上最多的,那可不是我的过错。你答应给我两块钱。”

温斯顿找到了两张折皱油污的钞票交给派逊斯,派逊斯用文盲的整齐宇体记在一个小本子上。

“还有,伙计,”他说,“我听说我的那个小叫化于昨天用弹弓打了你。我狠狠地教训了他一顿。我对他说,要是他再那样我就要把弹弓收起来。”

“我想他大概是因为不能去看吊死人而有点不高兴,”温斯顿说。

“啊,是啊——我要说的就是,这表示他动机是好的,是不是?他们两个都是淘气的小叫化子,但是说到态度积极,那就甭提了。整天想的就是少年侦察队和打仗。你知道上星期六我的小女儿到伯克姆斯坦德去远足时干了什么吗?

她让另外两个女孩子同她一起偷偷地离开了队伍跟踪一个可疑的人整整一个下午!她们一直跟着他两个小时,穿过树林,到了阿默夏姆后,就把他交给了巡逻队。”

“她们为什么这样?”温斯顿有点吃惊地问。派逊斯继续得意洋洋地说:

“我的孩子肯定他是敌人的特务——比方说,可能是跳伞空降的。但是关健在这里,伙计。你知道是什么东西引起她对他的怀疑的吗?她发现他穿的鞋子狠奇怪——她说她从来没有看见过别人穿过这样的鞋子。因此很可能他是个外国人。七岁孩子,怪聪明的,是不是?”

“那个人后来怎样了?”温斯顿问。

“哦,这个,我当然说不上来。不过,我是不会感到奇怪的,要是——”派逊斯做了一个步枪瞄准的姿态,嘴里咔嚓一声。

“好啊,”赛麦心不在焉地说,仍在看他那小纸条,头也不抬。

“当然我们不能麻痹大意,”温斯顿按照应尽的本分表示同意。

“我的意思是,现在正在打仗呀,”派逊斯说。

好象是为了证实这一点,他们脑袋上方的电幕发出了一阵喇叭声。不过这次不是宣布军事胜利,只是富裕部的一个公告。

“同志好!”一个年轻人的声音兴奋地说。“同志们请注意!我们有个好消息向大家报告。我们赢得了生产战线上的胜利!到现在为止各类消费品产量的数字说明,在过去一年中,生活水平提高了百分之二十以上。今天上午大洋国全国都举行了自发的游行,工人们走出了工厂、办公室,高举旗帜,在街头游行,对老大哥的英明领导为他们带来的幸福新生活表示感谢。根据已完成的统计,一部分数字如下。食品——”“我们的幸福新生活”一词出现了好几次。这是富裕部最近爱用的话。派逊斯的注意力被喇叭声吸引住了以后,脸上就带着一种一本正经的呆相,一种受到启迪时的乏味神情,坐在那里听着。他跟不上具体数字,不过他明白,这些数字反正是应该使人感到满意的。他掏出一根肮脏的大烟斗,里面已经装了一半烧黑了的烟草。烟草定量供应一星期只有一百克,要装满烟斗很少可能。温斯顿在吸胜利牌香烟,他小心地横着拿在手里。下一份定量供应要到明天才能买,而他只剩下四支烟了。这时他不去听远处的闹声,专心听电幕上发出的声音。看来,甚至有人游行感谢老大哥把巧克力的定量提高到一星期二十克。他心里想,昨天还刚刚宣布定量要减低(reduced)到一星期二十克。相隔才二十四小时,难道他们就能够忘掉了吗:是啊,他们硬是忘掉了。派逊斯就是很容易忘掉的,因为他象牲口一样愚蠢。旁边那张桌子上的那个没有眼睛的人也狂热地、热情地忘掉了,因为他热切地希望要把胆敢表示上星期定量是三十克的人都揭发出来,化为乌有。赛麦也忘掉了,不过他比较复杂,需要双重思想。那么只有(alone)他一个人才保持记忆吗?

电幕上继续不断地播送神话般的数字。同去年相比,食物、衣服、房屋、家俱、铁锅、燃料、轮船、直升飞机、书籍、婴孩的产量都增加了——除了疾病、犯罪、发疯以外,什么都增加了。逐年逐月,每时每刻,不论什么人,什么东西都在迅速前进。象赛麦原来在做的那样,温斯顿拿起汤匙,蘸着桌子上的那一摊灰色的粘糊糊,画了一道长线,构成一个图案。他不快地沉思着物质生活的各个方面。一直是这样的吗?他的饭一直是这个味道?他环顾食堂四周,一间天花板很低、挤得满满的屋子,由于数不清的人体接触,墙头发黑;破旧的铁桌铁椅挨得很近,你坐下来就碰到别人的手肘;汤匙弯曲,铁盘凹凸,白缸子都很祖糙;所有东西的表面都油腻腻的,每一条缝道里都积满尘垢;到处都弥漫着一股劣质杜松子酒、劣质咖啡、涮锅水似的炖菜和脏衣服混合起来的气味。在你的肚子里,在你的肌肤里,总发出一种无声的抗议,一种你被骗掉了有权利享受的东西的感觉。不错,他从来记不起还有过什么东西与现在大不相同。凡是他能够确切记得起来的,不论什么时候,总是没有够吃的东西,袜子和内衣裤总是有破洞的,家俱总是破旧不堪的,房间里的暖气总是烧得不暖的,地铁总是拥挤的,房子总是东倒西歪的,面包总是深色的,茶总是喝不到,咖啡总是有股脏水味,香烟总是不够抽——除了人造杜松子酒以外,没有东西是又便宜又多的。虽然这样的情况必然随着你的体格衰老而越来越恶劣,但是,如果你因为生活艰苦、污秽肮脏、物质匮乏而感到不快,为没完没了的寒冬、破烂的袜子、停开的电梯、寒冷的自来水、粗糙的肥皂、自己会掉烟丝的香烟、有股奇怪的难吃味道的食物而感到不快,这岂不是说明,这样的情况不是(not)事物的天然规律?除非你有一种古老的回忆,记得以前事情不是这样的,否则的话,你为什么要觉得这是不可忍受的呢?

他再一次环顾了食堂的四周。几乎每个人都很丑陋,即使穿的不是蓝制服,也仍旧会是丑陋的。在房间的那一头,有一个个子矮小、奇怪得象个小甲壳虫一样的人,独自坐在一张桌子旁边喝咖啡,他的小眼睛东张西望,充满怀疑。温斯顿想,如果你不看一下周围,你就会很容易相信,党所树立的模范体格——魁梧高大的小伙子和胸脯高耸的姑娘,金黄的头发,健康的肤色,生气勃勃,无忧无虑 ——是存在的,甚至是占多数。实际上,从他所了解的来看,一号空降场大多数人是矮小难看的。很难理解,各部竟尽是那种甲壳虫一样的人:又矮又小,没有到年纪就长胖了,四肢短小,忙忙碌碌,动作敏捷,胖胖的没有表情的脸上,眼睛又细又小。在党的统治下似乎这一类型的人繁殖得最快。

富裕部的公告结束时又是一阵喇叭声,接着是很轻声的音乐。派逊斯在一连串数字的刺激下稀里糊涂地感到有些兴奋,从嘴上拿开烟斗。

“富裕部今年工作做得不坏,”他赞赏地摇一摇头。“我说,史密斯伙计,你有没有刀片能给我用一用?”

“一片也没有,”温斯顿说。“我自己六个星期以来一直在用这一片。”

“啊,那没关系——我只是想问一下,伙计。”

“对不起,”温斯顿说。

隔壁桌上那个呱呱叫的声音由于富裕部的公告而暂时停了一会,如今又恢复了,象刚才一样大声。温斯顿不知怎么突然想起派逊斯太太来,想到了她的稀疏的头发,脸上皱纹里的尘垢。两年之内,这些孩子就会向思想警察揭发她。派逊斯太太就会化为乌有。赛麦也会化为乌有。温斯顿也会化为乌有。奥勃良也会化为乌有。而派逊斯却永远不会化为乌有。

那个呱呱叫的没有眼睛的家伙不会化为乌有。那些在各部迷宫般的走廓里忙忙碌碌地来来往往的小甲壳虫似的人也永远不会化为乌有。那个黑发姑娘,那个小说司的姑娘——她也永远不会化为乌有。他觉得他凭本能就能知道,谁能生存,谁会消灭,尽管究竟靠什么才能生存,则很难说。

这时他猛的从沉思中醒了过来。原来隔桌的那个姑娘转过一半身来在看他。就是那个黑头发姑娘。她斜眼看着他,不过眼光盯得很紧,令人奇怪。她的眼光一与他相遇,就转了开去。

温斯顿的脊梁上开始渗出冷汗。他感到一阵恐慌。这几乎很快就过去了,不过留下一种不安的感觉,久久不散。

她为什么看着他?她为什么到处跟着他?遗憾的是,他记不得他来食堂的时候她是不是已经坐在那张桌子边上了,还是在以后才来的。但是不管怎样,昨天在举行两分钟仇恨的时候,她就坐在他的后面,而这是根本没有必要的。很可能她的真正目的是要窃听他,看他的叫喊是否够起劲。

他以前的念头又回来了:也许她不一定是思想警察的人员,但是,正是业余的特务最为危险。他不知道她看着他有多久了,也许有五分钟,很可能他的面部表情没有完全控制起来。在任何公共场所,或者在电幕的视野范围内,让自己的思想开小差是很危险的。最容易暴露的往往是你不注意的小地方。神经的抽搐,不自觉的发愁脸色,自言自语的习惯——凡是显得不正常,显得要想掩饰什么事情,都会使你暴露。无论如何,脸上表情不适当(例如在听到胜利公告时露出不信的表情)本身就是一桩应予惩罚的罪行。新话里甚至有一个专门的词,叫做脸罪。

那个姑娘又回过头来看他。也许她并不是真的在盯他的梢;也许她连续两天挨着他坐只是偶然巧合。他的香烟已经熄灭了,他小心地把它放在桌予边上。如果他能使得烟丝不掉出来,他可以在下班后再继续抽。很可能,隔桌的那个人是思想警察的特务,很可能,他在三天之内要到友爱部的地下室里去了,但是香烟屁股却不能浪费。赛麦已经把他的那张纸条叠了起来,放在口袋里。派逊斯又开始说了起来。

“我没有告诉过你,伙计,”他一边说一边咬着烟斗,“那一次我的两个小叫化子把一个市场上的老太婆的裙子烧了起来,因为他们看到她用老大哥的画像包香肠,偷偷地跟在她背后,用一盒火柴放火烧她的裙子。我想把她烧得够厉害的。

那两个小叫化子,嗳?可是积极得要命。这是他们现在在少年侦察队受到的第一流训练,甚至比我小时候还好。你知道他们给他们的最新配备是什么?插在钥匙孔里偷听的耳机!

我的小姑娘那天晚上带回来一个,插在我们起居室的门上,说听到的声音比直接从钥匙孔听到的大一倍。不过,当然罗,这不过是一种玩具。不过,这个主意倒不错,对不对?”

这时电幕上的哨子一声尖叫。这是回去上班的信号。三个人都站了起来跟着大家去挤电梯,温斯顿香烟里剩下的烟丝都掉了下来。


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