This is an excerpt from the opening chapter to George Orwell's novel, 1984. It was recorded 'live'
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
1984 by George Orwell, Chapter one It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking. 13 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 45 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 39 had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, Wen, slowly resting several times on the way on each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the post o with the enormous face, gazed from the war. 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 run 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 day old mirror, which formed part of the surface of the right and war. Winston turned to switch on. The voice sank somewhat, so the words were still distinguishable the instrument. The tele screen, it was called, could be dimmed, but there was no way of shooting it off completely. He moved over to the window, a smallish, frail figure, the meekness of his body merely emphasised by the blue overalls, which were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine. His skin, roughened by course, opened blunt razor blades on the cold of the winter that had just ended outside. Even through the shut window pin, 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 black moustachioed face cares 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.