Thursday, 17 July 2008

Big Brother 1984-2012 Pt 3

Cary G Dean.


George Orwell-1949

The other person was a man named O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party and holder of some post so important and remote that Winston had only a dim idea of its nature.

A momentary hush passed over the group of people round the chairs as they saw the black overalls of an Inner Party member approaching. O'Brien 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. He had a trick of resettling his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming in some indefinable way, curiously civilized.

It was a gesture which, if anyone had still thought in such terms, might have recalled an eighteenth century nobleman offering his snuffbox.

Winston had seen O'Brien perhaps a dozen times in almost as many years. He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely because he was intrigued by the contrast between O'Brien’s urbane manner and his prize fighter's physique.

Much more it was because of a secretly held belief or perhaps not even a belief, merely a hope that O'Brien's political orthodoxy was not perfect. Something in his face suggested it irresistibly.

And again, perhaps it was not even unorthodoxy that was written in his face, but simply intelligence. But at any rate he had the appearance of being a person that you could talk to if somehow you could cheat the telescreen and get him alone.

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. A small, sandy haired woman who worked in the next cubicle to Winston was between them.

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. The little sandy haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust.

Goldstein was the renegade and backslider 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, and then 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 principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity.

All subsequent crimes against the Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching. Somewhere or other he was still alive and hatching his conspiracies:

Perhaps somewhere beyond the sea, under the protection of his foreign paymasters, perhaps even so it was occasionally rumoured in some hiding-place in Oceania itself.

Winston’s diaphragm was constricted. He could never see the face of Goldstein without a painful mixture of emotions.

It was a lean Jewish face, with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair and a small goatee beard a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of senile silliness in the long thin nose, near the end of which a pair of spectacles was perched.

It resembled the face of a sheep, and the voice, too, had a sheep like quality.

Goldstein was delivering
his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it.

And yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other
people, less level headed than oneself, might be taken in by it.

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,

was crying hysterically that the revolution had been betrayed and all this in rapid polysyllabic speech which was a sort of parody of the habitual style of the orators of the Party, and even contained Newspeak words:

More Newspeak words, indeed, than any Party member would normally use in real life. And all the while, lest one should be in any doubt as to the reality which Goldstein’s specious claptrap covered.

Behind his head on the telescreen there marched the
endless columns of the Eurasian army row after row of solid looking men with expressionless Asiatic faces who swam up to the surface of the screen and vanished, to be replaced by others exactly similar.

The dull rhythmic tramp of the soldiers boots formed the background to Goldstein's bleating voice.

Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room.

The selfsatisfied sheep like face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically.

He was an object of hatred more constant than either Eurasia or Eastasia, since when Oceania was at war with one of these Powers it was generally at peace with the other.

But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were in spite of all this, his influence never seemed to grow less.

Always there were
fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him. A day never passed when spies and saboteurs acting under his directions were not unmasked by the Thought Police.

He was the commander of a vast shadowy army, an underground network
of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the State. The Brotherhood, its name was supposed to be.

There were also whispered stories of a terrible book,
a compendium of all the heresies, of which Goldstein was the author and which circulated clandestinely here and there.

It was a book without a title. People
referred to it, if at all, simply as the book. But one knew of such things only through vague rumours. Neither the Brotherhood nor the book was a subject that any ordinary Party member would mention if there was a way of avoiding it.

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 bleating voice that came from the screen.

The little
sandy haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O'Brien’s heavy face was flushed.

was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out "Swine! Swine! Swine!" and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen.

It struck
Goldstein's nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably.

In a lucid
moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair.

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.

About the Author
"During times of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

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