Part 1 Chapter 6

Winston was writing in his diary:

It was three years ago. It was on a dark evening, in a narrow side-street near one of the big railway stations. She was standing near a doorway in the wall, under a street lamp that hardly gave any light. She had a young face, painted very thick. It was really the paint that appealed to me, the whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips. Party women never paint their faces. There was nobody else in the street, and no telescreens. She said two dollars. I --

For the moment it was too difficult to go on. He shut his eyes and pressed his fingers against them, trying to squeeze out the vision that kept recurring. He had an almost overwhelming temptation to shout a string of filthy words at the top of his voice. Or to bang his head against the wall, to kick over the table, and hurl the inkpot through the window -- to do any violent or noisy or painful thing that might black out the memory that was tormenting him.

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom. He thought of a man whom he had passed in the street a few weeks back; a quite ordinary-looking man, a Party member, aged thirty-five to forty, tallish and thin, carrying a brief-case. They were a few metres apart when the left side of the man's face was suddenly contorted by a sort of spasm. It happened again just as they were passing one another: it was only a twitch, a quiver, rapid as the clicking of a camera shutter, but obviously habitual. He remembered thinking at the time: That poor devil is done for. And what was frightening was that the action was quite possibly unconscious. The most deadly danger of all was talking in your sleep. There was no way of guarding against that, so far as he could see.

He drew his breath and went on writing:

I went with her through the doorway and across a backyard into a basement kitchen. There was a bed against the wall, and a lamp on the table, turned down very low. She --

His teeth were set on edge. He would have liked to spit. Simultaneously with the woman in the basement kitchen he thought of Katharine, his wife. Winston was married -- had been married, at any rate: probably he still was married, so far as he knew his wife was not dead. He seemed to breathe again the warm stuffy odour of the basement kitchen, an odour compounded of bugs and dirty clothes and villainous cheap scent, but nevertheless alluring, because no woman of the Party ever used scent, or could be imagined as doing so. Only the proles used scent. In his mind the smell of it was inextricably mixed up with fornication.

When he had gone with that woman it had been his first lapse in two years or thereabouts. Consorting with prostitutes was forbidden, of course, but it was one of those rules that you could occasionally nerve yourself to break. It was dangerous, but it was not a life-and-death matter. To be caught with a prostitute might mean five years in a forced-labour camp: not more, if you had committed no other offence. And it was easy enough, provided that you could avoid being caught in the act. The poorer quarters swarmed with women who were ready to sell themselves. Some could even be purchased for a bottle of gin, which the proles were not supposed to drink. Tacitly the Party was even inclined to encourage prostitution, as an outlet for instincts which could not be altogether suppressed. Mere debauchery did not matter very much, so long as it was furtive and joyless and only involved the women of a submerged and despised class. The unforgivable crime was promiscuity between Party members. But -- though this was one of the crimes that the accused in the great purges invariably confessed to -- it was difficult to imagine any such thing actually happening.

The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and -- though the principle was never clearly stated -- permission was always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema. This again was never put into plain words, but in an indirect way it was rubbed into every Party member from childhood onwards. There were even organizations such as the Junior Anti-Sex League, which advocated complete celibacy for both sexes. All children were to be begotten by artificial insemination (artsem, it was called in Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions. This, Winston was aware, was not meant altogether seriously, but somehow it fitted in with the general ideology of the Party. The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be killed, then to distort it and dirty it. He did not know why this was so, but it seemed natural that it should be so. And as far as the women were concerned, the Party's efforts were largely successful.

He thought again of Katharine. It must be nine, ten -- nearly eleven years since they had parted. It was curious how seldom he thought of her. For days at a time he was capable of forgetting that he had ever been married. They had only been together for about fifteen months. The Party did not permit divorce, but it rather encouraged separation in cases where there were no children.

Katharine was a tall, fair-haired girl, very straight, with splendid movements. She had a bold, aquiline face, a face that one might have called noble until one discovered that there was as nearly as possible nothing behind it. Very early in her married life he had decided -- though perhaps it was only that he knew her more intimately than he knew most people -- that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her. 'The human sound-track' he nicknamed her in his own mind. Yet he could have endured living with her if it had not been for just one thing -- sex.

As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a jointed wooden image. And what was strange was that even when she was clasping him against her he had the feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away with all her strength. The rigidlty of her muscles managed to convey that impression. She would lie there with shut eyes, neither resisting nor co-operating but submitting. It was extraordinarily embarrassing, and, after a while, horrible. But even then he could have borne living with her if it had been agreed that they should remain celibate. But curiously enough it was Katharine who refused this. They must, she said, produce a child if they could. So the performance continued to happen, once a week quite regulariy, whenever it was not impossible. She even used to remind him of it in the morning, as something which had to be done that evening and which must not be forgotten. She had two names for it. One was 'making a baby', and the other was 'our duty to the Party' (yes, she had actually used that phrase). Quite soon he grew to have a feeling of positive dread when the appointed day came round. But luckily no child appeared, and in the end she agreed to give up trying, and soon afterwards they parted.

Winston sighed inaudibly. He picked up his pen again and wrote:

She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without any kind of preliminary in the most coarse, horrible way you can imagine, pulled up her skirt. I --

He saw himself standing there in the dim lamplight, with the smell of bugs and cheap scent in his nostrils, and in his heart a feeling of defeat and resentment which even at that moment was mixed up with the thought of Katharine's white body, frozen for ever by the hypnotic power of the Party. Why did it always have to be like this? Why could he not have a woman of his own instead of these filthy scuffles at intervals of years? But a real love affair was an almost unthinkable event. The women of the Party were all alike. Chastity was as deep ingrained in them as Party loyalty. By careful early conditioning, by games and cold water, by the rubbish that was dinned into them at school and in the Spies and the Youth League, by lectures, parades, songs, slogans, and martial music, the natural feeling had been driven out of them. His reason told him that there must be exceptions, but his heart did not believe it. They were all impregnable, as the Party intended that they should be. And what he wanted, more even than to be loved, was to break down that wall of virtue, even if it were only once in his whole life. The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime. Even to have awakened Katharine, if he could have achieved it, would have been like a seduction, although she was his wife.

But the rest of the story had got to be written down. He wrote:

I turned up the lamp. When I saw her in the light --

After the darkness the feeble light of the paraffin lamp had seemed very bright. For the first time he could see the woman properly. He had taken a step towards her and then halted, full of lust and terror. He was painfully conscious of the risk he had taken in coming here. It was perfectly possible that the patrols would catch him on the way out: for that matter they might be waiting outside the door at this moment. If he went away without even doing what he had come here to do -!

It had got to be written down, it had got to be confessed. What he had suddenly seen in the lamplight was that the woman was old. The paint was plastered so thick on her face that it looked as though it might crack like a cardboard mask. There were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly dreadful detail was that her mouth had fallen a little open, revealing nothing except a cavernous blackness. She had no teeth at all.

He wrote hurriedly, in scrabbling handwriting:

When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years old at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same.

He pressed his fingers against his eyelids again. He had written it down at last, but it made no difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.

温斯顿在他的日记中写道:

那是在三年前的一个昏暗的晚上。在一个大火车站附近的一条狭窄的横街上,她站在一盏暗淡无光的街灯下面,靠墙倚门而立。她的脸很年轻,粉抹得很厚。吸引我的其实是那抹的粉,那么白,象个面具,还有那鲜红的嘴唇。党内女人是从来不涂脂抹粉的。街上没有旁人,也没有电幕。她说两块钱。我就——

他一时觉得很难继续写下去,就闭上了眼睛,用手指按着眼皮,想把那不断重现的景象挤掉。他忍不住想拉开嗓门,大声呼喊,口出脏言,或者用脑袋撞墙,把桌子踢翻,把墨水瓶向玻璃窗扔过去,总而言之,不论什么大吵大闹或者能够使自己感到疼痛的事情,只要能够使他忘却那不断折磨他的记忆,他都想做。

他心里想,你最大的敌人是你自已的神经系统。你内心的紧张随时随地都可能由一个明显的症状泄露出来。他想起几个星期以前在街上碰到一个人,一个外表很平常的人,一个党员,年约三、四十岁,身材瘦高,提着公事皮包。向人相距只有几米远的时候,那个人的左边脸上忽然抽搐了一下。两人擦身而过的时候,他又有这样一个小动作,只不过抽了一下,颤了一下,象照相机快门咔嚓一样的快,但很明显地可以看出这是习惯性的。他记得当时自己就想:这个可怜的家伙完了。可怕的是,这个动作很可能是不自觉的。最致命的危险是说梦话。就他所知,对此无法预防。

他吸了一口气,又继续写下去:

我同她一起进了门,穿过后院,到了地下室的一个厨房里。靠墙有一张床,桌上一盏灯,灯火捻得低低的。她——

他咬紧了牙齿,感到一阵难受。他真想吐口唾沫。他在地下室厨房里同那个女人在一起的时候,同时又想起了他的妻子凯瑟琳。温斯顿是结了婚的,反正,是结过婚的;也许他现在还是结了婚的人,因为就他所知,他的妻子还没有死。他似乎又呼吸到了地下室厨房里那股闷热的气味,一种臭虫、脏衣服、恶浊的廉价香水混合起来的气味,但是还是很诱人,因为党里的女人都不用香水.甚至不能想象她们会那样。只有无产者用香水。在他的心中,香水气味总是不可分解地同私通连在一起的。

他搞这个女人是他约摸两年以来第一次行为失检。当然玩妓女是禁止的,但是这种规定你有时是可以鼓起勇气来违反的。这事是危险的,但不是生死攸关的问题。玩妓女被逮住可能要判处强制劳动五年;如果你没有其他过错,就此而已。而且这也很容易,只要你能够避免被当场逮住。贫民区里尽是愿意出卖肉体的女人。有的甚至只要一瓶杜松子酒,因为无产者是不得买这种酒喝的。暗地里,党甚至鼓励卖淫,以此作为发泄不能完全压制的本能的出路。一时的荒唐并没有什么关系,只要这是偷偷摸模搞的,没有什么乐趣,而且搞的只是受卑视的下层阶级的女人。党员之间的乱搞才是不可宽恕的罪行。但是很难想象实际上会发生这样的事——尽管历次大清洗中的被告都一律供认犯了这样的罪行。

党的目的不仅仅是要防止男女之间结成可能使它无法控制的誓盟关系。党的真正目的虽然未经宣布,实际上是要使性行为失去任何乐趣。不论是在婚姻关系以外还是婚姻关系以内,敌人与其说是爱情,不如说是情欲。党员之间的婚姻都必须得到为此目的而设立的委员会的批准,虽然从来没有说明过原则到底是什么,如果有关双方给人以他们在肉体上互相吸引的印象,申请总是遭到拒绝的。唯一得到承认的结婚目的是,生儿育女,为党服务。性交被看成是一种令人恶心的小手术,就象灌肠一样。不过这也是从来没有明确地说过,但是用间接的方法从小就灌输在每一个党员的心中。甚至有象少年反性同盟这样的组织提倡两性完全过独身生活。所有儿童要用人工授精(新话叫人授(artsem))的方法生育,由公家抚养。

温斯顿也很明白,这么说并不是很认真其事的,但是这反正与党的意识形态相一致。党竭力要扼杀性本能,如果不能扼杀的话,就要使它不正常,肮脏化。他不知道为什么要这样,但是觉得这样是很自然的事。就女人而论,党在这方面的努力基本上是成功的。

他又想到了凯瑟琳。他们分手大概有九年,十年——快十一年了。真奇怪,他很少想到她。他有时能够一连好几天忘记掉自已结过婚。他们一起只过了大约十五个月的日子。党不允许离婚,但是如果没有子女却鼓励分居。

凯瑟琳是个头发淡黄、身高体直的女人,动作干净利落。她长长的脸,轮廓鲜明,要是你没有发现这张脸的背后几乎是空空洞洞的,你很可能称这种脸是高尚的。在他们婚后生活的初期,他就很早发现——尽管这也许是因为他对她比对他所认识的大多数人更有亲密的了解机会——她毫无例外地是他所遇到过的人中头脑最愚蠢、庸俗、空虚的人。她的头脑里没有一个思想不是口号,只要是党告诉她的蠢话,她没有、绝对没有不盲目相信的。他心里给她起了个外号叫人体“录音带”。然而,要不是为了那一件事情,他仍是可以勉强同她一起生活的。那件事情就是性生活。

他一碰到她,她就仿佛要往后退缩,全身肌肉紧张起来。搂抱她象搂抱木头人一样。奇怪的是,甚至在她主动抱紧他的时候,他也觉得她同时在用全部力气推开她。她全身肌肉僵硬使他有这个印象。她常常闭着眼睛躺在那里,既不抗拒,也不合作,就是默默忍受。这使人感到特别尴尬,过了一阵之后,甚至使人感到吃不消。但是即使如此,他也能够勉强同她一起生活,只要事先说好不同房。但是奇怪的是,凯瑟琳居然反对。她说,他们只要能够做到,就要生个孩子。这样,一星期一次,相当经常地,只要不是办不到,这样的情况就要重演一次。她甚至常常在那一天早晨就提醒他,好象这是那一天晚上必须要完成的任务,可不能忘记的一样。她提起这件事来有两个称呼。一个是“生个孩子”,另一个是“咱们对党的义务”(真的,她确实是用了这句话)。不久之后,指定的日期一临近,他就有了一种望而生畏的感觉。幸而没有孩子出世,最后她同意放弃再试,不久之后,他们俩就分手了。

温斯顿无声地叹口气。他又提起笔来写:

她一头倒在床上,一点也没有什么预备动作,就马上撩起了裙子,这种粗野、可怕的样子是你所想象不到的。我——

他又看到了他在昏暗的灯光中站在那里,鼻尖里闻到臭虫和廉价香水的气味,心中有一种失败和不甘心的感觉,甚至在这种时候,他的这种感觉还与对凯瑟琳的白皙的肉体的想念掺杂在一起,尽管她的肉体己被党的催眠力量所永远冰冻了。为什么总得这样呢?为什么他不能有一个自己的女人,而不得不隔一两年去找一次这些烂污货呢?但是真正的情合,几乎是不可想象的事情。党内的女人都是一样的。清心寡欲的思想象对党忠诚一样牢牢地在她们心中扎了根。通过早期的周密的灌输,通过游戏和冷水浴,通过在学校里、少年侦察队里和青中团里不断向她们灌输的胡说八道,通过讲课、游行、歌曲、口号、军乐等等,她们的天性已被扼杀得一干二净。他的理智告诉他自已,一定会有例外的,但是他的内心却不相信。她们都是攻不破的,完全按照党的要求那样。他与其说是要有女人爱他,不如说是更想要推倒那道贞节的墙,那怕只是毕生一二次。满意的性交,本身就是造反。性欲是思想罪。即使是唤起凯瑟琳的欲望——如果他能做到的话——也是象诱奸,尽管她是自己的妻子。

不过剩下的故事,他得把它写下来。他写道:

我燃亮了灯。我在灯光下看清她时——

在黑暗里呆久了,煤油灯的微弱亮光也似乎十分明亮。

他第一次可以好好的看一看那女人。他已经向前走了一步,这时又停住了,心里既充满了欲望又充满了恐惧。他痛感到他到这里来所冒的风险。完全有可能,在他出去的时候,巡逻队会逮住他;而且他们可能这时已在门外等着了。但是如果他没有达到目的就走——!

这得写下来,这得老实交代。他在灯光下忽然看清楚的是,那个女人是个老太婆(old)。它的脸上的粉抹得这么厚,看上去就象硬纸板做的面具要折断的那样。它的头发里有几绺白发,但真正可怕的地方是,这时她的嘴巴稍稍张开,里面除了是个漆黑的洞以外没有别的。她满口没牙。

他潦草地急急书写:

我在灯光下看清了她,她是个很老的老太婆,至少有五十岁。可是我还是上前,照干不误。

他又把手指按在跟皮上。他终于把它写了下来,不过这仍没有什么两样。这个方法并不奏效。要提高嗓门大声叫骂脏话的冲动,比以前更强烈了。

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