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Orwell George - 1984





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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 self-satisfied 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. He 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. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always
unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a
desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a
sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people
like an electric current, turning one even against one`s will
into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one
felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be
switched from one object to another like the flame of a
blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston`s hatred was not turned
against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big
Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments
his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the
screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies.
And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people
about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed to him to
be true. At those moments his secret loathing of Big Brother
changed into adoration, and Big Brother seemed to tower up, an
invincible, fearless protector, standing like a rock against
the hordes of Asia, and Goldstein, in spite of his isolation,
his helplessness, and the doubt that hung about his very
existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the
mere power of his voice of wrecking the structure of
civilization.
It was even possible, at moments, to switch one`s hatred
this way or that by a voluntary act. Suddenly, by the sort of
violent effort with which one wrenches one`s head away from the
pillow in a nightmare, Winston succeeded in transferring his
hatred from the face on the screen to the dark-haired girl
behind him. Vivid, beautiful hallucinations flashed through his
mind. He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. He
would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows
like Saint Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her throat at
the moment of climax. Better than before, moreover, he realized
why it was that he hated her. He hated her because she was
young and pretty and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed
with her and would never do so, because round her sweet supple
waist, which seemed to ask you to encircle it with your arm,
there was only the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of
chastity.
The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of Goldstein had
become an actual sheep`s bleat, and for an instant the face
changed into that of a sheep. Then the sheep-face melted into
the figure of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be advancing,
huge and terrible, his sub-machine gun roaring, and seeming to
spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some of the
people in the front row actually flinched backwards in their
seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh of relief
from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the face of Big
Brother, black-haired, blackmoustachio`d, full of power and
mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the


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Orwell George - 1984