It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

It  was  a  bright  cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his  chin  nuzzled  into his  breast  in  an  effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly  through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly  enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust  from  entering  along  with  him.
The  hallway  smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At  one end  of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display,  had  been  tacked  to  the wall. It depicted simply an enormous  face, more than  a metre wide:  the  face  of a  man  of  about  forty−five,  with a  heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome  features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the  lift. Even at the best of times  it was seldom working,  and  at  present the electric current was cut  off during daylight hours.  It  was part of the economy drive in  preparation for Hate Week.  The flat was seven flights up, and Winston,  who was thirty−nine  and had a varicose ulcer above his right  ankle,  went  slowly,  resting several times on the way. On each landing,  opposite the  lift−shaft,  the  poster with the enormous face gazed  from the  wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived  that  the  eyes follow  you  about  when  you  move.  BIG BROTHER IS  WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran. Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a  list  of  figures  which  had  something  to  do  with  the production 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  streetlevel  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 Police mattered.


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