of pig-iron. The voice came from an
oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface
of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank
somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the
telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of
shutting it off completely. He moved over to the window: a smallish, frail
figure, the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls
which were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair, his face
naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor
blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.
Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold.
Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper
into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue,
there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were
plastered everywhere. The blackmoustachio'd face gazed down from every
commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked
deep into Winston's own. Down at street level another poster, torn at one
corner, flapped fitfully in the wind, alternately covering and uncovering
the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down
between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted
away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into
people's windows. The patrols did not matter, however. Only the Thought
Behind Winston's back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling
away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan.
The telescreen received and