voluptuous creaking in his joints he climbed the stair
above Mr. Charrington's shop. He was tired, but not sleepy any longer. He
opened the window, lit the dirty little oilstove and put on a pan of water
for coffee. Julia would arrive presently: meanwhile there was the book. He
sat down in the sluttish armchair and undid the straps of the brief-case.
A heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with no name or title on the
cover. The print also looked slightly irregular. The pages were worn at the
edges, and fell apart, easily, as though the book had passed through many
hands. The inscription on the title-page ran:
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF
Winston began reading:
Ignorance is Strength.
Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic
Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the
Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have
borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as
their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the
essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous
upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always
reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium,
however far it is pushed one way or the other.
The aims of these groups are entirely irreconcilable...
Winston stopped reading, chiefly in order to appreciate the fact that