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اتاق 101

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  • زمان مطالعه 10 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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Chapter 12 Room 101

He was much better. He was getting fatter and stronger every day. The new cell was more comfortable than the others he had been in. There was a bed and a chair to sit on. There was paper and an ink-pencil. They had given him a bath and they let him wash frequently in a metal bowl. They even gave him warm water to wash with. They had given him new overalls, pulled out the rest of his teeth and given him new false teeth.

Weeks had passed, perhaps months. He could count time passing by his meals; he received, he thought, three meals in twenty-four hours. The food was surprisingly good, with meat every third meal. Once there was even a packet of cigarettes.

His mind grew more active. He sat down on his bed, his back against the wall, and began to re-train his mind. He belonged to them now, that was agreed. As he realized now, he had given in, he had been ready to belong to them, a long time before he had made the decision. From his first moment inside the Ministry of Love — and yes, even when he and Julia stood helpless in front of the telescreen in Charrington’s room — he had understood that it had been stupid to fight against the power of the Party.

He knew that for seven years the Thought Police had watched him, looking down on him like an insect walking along a path. They knew everything that he had said or done. They had played his voice back to him, shown him photographs. Some of them were photographs of Julia and himself. Yes, even . . . He could not fight against the Party now. And why should he? The Party was right.

He began to write, with big child-like letters: FREEDOM IS SLAVERY


And while he worked on crimestop inside his mind, he wondered when they would shoot him. They might keep him here for years, they might let him out for a short time — as they sometimes did. But one day they would shoot him. You never knew when. Often they shot you from behind, in the back of the head.

One day - or one night perhaps - he had a dream. He was waiting for them to shoot him. He was out in the sunshine and he called out, Julia! Julia! My love! Julia!’

He lay back on the bed, frightened. H o w many years had he added to his time in this cell by shouting out her name?

There was the noise of boots outside. O’Brien walked into the cell. Behind him were the officer with the emotionless face and the black-uniformed guards.

‘You have had thoughts of betraying me,’ he said. ‘That was stupid. Tell me, Winston - and tell me the truth because I will know if you are lying - tell me, what do you really think of Big Brother?’

‘I hate him.’

‘You hate him. Good. Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother.’

He pushed Winston towards the guards. ‘Room 101,’ he said.

Winston always knew if the cells were high up or low down in the building. The air was different. This place was many metres underground, as deep down as it was possible to go.

It was bigger than most of the cells he had been in. There were two small tables in front of him. One was a metre or two away, the other was near the door. He was tied to a chair so tightly that he could not move, not even his head. He had to look straight in front of him.

O’Brien came in. ‘You asked me once,’ he said, ‘what was in Room 101. I said that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. In Room 101 there is the worst thing in the world.’

The door opened again. A guard came in carrying a box.

There was a tube at the front of it. He put it down on the table near the door.

‘The worst thing in the world,’ said O’Brien, ‘is different for each person. It may be death by fire, or by water, or fifty other deaths. Sometimes it is something quite small, that does not even kill you.’

He had moved to one side and Winston could now see what was on the table. It was a big metal box and through holes in the sides he could see movement. Rats.

‘For you,’ said O’Brien, ‘the worst thing in the world is rats.’

Winston had been afraid before, but suddenly he understood what the tube was for. He felt very, very sick.

‘You can’t do that!’ he screamed. ‘O’Brien! What do you want me to do?’

‘Pain alone,’ said O’Brien quietly, ‘is not always enough. The rat,’ he continued, like a teacher giving a lesson, ‘eats meat. In the poor parts of the town a mother cannot leave her baby outside because in ten minutes there w i ll only be bones left. Rats are also very intelligent. They know when a human being is helpless.’

The rats were big and brown, they were making little high cries, fighting with each other. O’Brien moved the box until it was a metre from Winston’s face.

‘You understand this box and tube? One end of the tube goes into the box and the other, wider end goes over your face. When I press this switch, a door into the tube w i ll open and the rats w i ll run along it towards your face. Sometimes they attack the eyes first. Sometimes they eat through the face, into the tongue.’

One end of the tube was put over his face. He could see the first rat, its face, its teeth.

He knew there was only one hope, one last hope. He needed to put someone else between himself and that rat. He needed to give them someone else. And he heard himself shouting, screaming, ‘Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Destroy her face, leave only bones. Not me! Julia! N o t me!’

He heard O’Brien touch the switch and knew he had closed the door to the tube, not opened it.

The Chestnut Tree Cafe was almost empty. It was the lonely time of fifteen hours. Music came from the telescreens now but Winston was listening for news of the war. Oceania was at war with Eurasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. He drank a glass of gin, although it tasted terrible. A waiter brought h i m that day’s Times.

His finger moved on the table. He wrote in the dust: 2 + 2= 5

‘They can’t get inside you,’ she had said. But they could get inside you. And when they did, something inside you died.

He had seen her; he had even spoken to her. There was no danger in it. He knew that. They took no interest in him now.

They could even see each other again if either of them wanted to. But they did not want to.

He had met her by chance in the park on a cold day in March.

She was fatter now. She had walked away from him at first. When he caught her, he put his arm round her waist but did not try to kiss her. He did not want to kiss her.

They sat down on two iron chairs, not too close together.

There were no telescreens here but possibly hidden microphones.

It did not matter.

‘I betrayed you,’ she said.

‘I betrayed you, too,’ he said.

‘In the end they do something so terrible that you say “Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to the person I love.”

You only care about yourself.’

‘You only care about yourself,’ he had agreed.

And he had meant it. He had not just said it, he had wished it.

He had wanted her at the end of the tube when they . ..

Something changed on the telescreen in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. The music stopped and the face of Big Brother filled the telescreen. Winston looked up at the enormous face with the moustache. Tears ran down his face and he was happy. He had won the fight with himself. He loved Big Brother.

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