Rereading Nineteen Eighty Four – Part II Chap 8 (11)

Winston, who has lived his life in silence and secret immediately reveals his secret place to O’Brien.

O’Brien promises to send him  a copy of ‘the book’;   that is Goldstein’s book.  Goldstein, who is the subject of every day’s Two Minute Hate.

O’brien arranges to have it placed into Winston’s brief case in clandestine manner;

“…in the fairly near future — I cannot give a date — one of the messages among your morning’s work will contain a misprinted word, and you will have to ask for a repeat. On the following day you will go to work without your brief-case. At some time during the day, in the street, a man will touch you on the arm and say “I think you have dropped your brief-case.” The one he gives you will contain a copy of Goldstein’s book. You will return it within fourteen days.”

At first reading on Nineteen EightyFour one might miss the completely ridiculous nature of this.  O’Brien could have given him the book there and then instead of this ridiculous contrived method.   Yet, on first reading it didn’t occur to me.

The value of rereading a book is that where the first time you encounter these paragraphs the unnecessary protocols do not leap out at you.   The ‘drama;  seems more for style and effect than reality.


What do you think?


Written by jaylar

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