Winston knew one day they would shoot him. He did not know when but a few seconds beforehand it should be possible to guess.
It was always from behind, walking down a corridor. Ten seconds would be enough. In that time the world inside him could turn over. And then suddenly, without a word, without the changing of a line in his face — the camouflage would be down and bang! would go the batteries of his hatred.
Hatred would fill him like a roaring flame. And almost in the same instant bang! would go the bullet, too late, or too early.
They would have blown his brain to pieces before they could reclaim it. The heretical thought would be unpunished, unrepentent, out of their reach for ever.
They would have blown a hole in their own perfection. To die hating them, that was freedom.
He shut his eyes. It was more difficult than accepting an intellectual discipline. It was a question of degrading himself, mutilating himself. He had got to plunge into the filthiest of filth.