Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Chapter VII of 1984

In senior English, Mrs. Lehman had us write an additional chapter to George Orwell's 1984. Man, this was a good assignment and I need to utilize this in my class.

Matt Butcher
Mrs. Lehman
Honors English IV
24 April 1991


The Chestnut Tree Cafe had little excitement in it tonight. The bartender was pouring drinks for only three men at the stools. Of course, over in the far corner table, was Winston Smith, brooding over his chessboard and a bottle of Victory Gin.
Winston took another gulp of the foul tasting stuff and saw what would happen if he moved his bishop to e3. Lately, chess was occupying most of his thought. His job did not take much. He could no longer attend the usual clubs as he had. He sat here in the cafe as he had for years, ever since O'Brien.
"What happens to you here is forever," he had said. This was Winston's forever, lonely sitting in the cafe with his chess and his best friend.
Winston had not always been lonely. He vaguely remembered someone. An image floated in front of his eyes, someone with a blue jumpsuit and a red sash around her waist. Yes, it was a female. His lips fumbled with her name but no sound ushered forth. "Julia."
He shook his head free of the image. What would happen if he moved his queen to c7? Another shot of the gin poured down his throat.
There was a sudden draft coming from the direction of the door. Winston could not prevent himself from looking. His eyes exploded with surprise mixed with fright when he saw the figure that had just walked in.
There was no mistaking it. After all the long hours that he had spent staring into her eyes, he recognized her instantly. It was Julia.
She was a big woman now. The years since O'Brien had taken their toll. She no longer had the curves of her youth. There was no real feminine beauty at all. The blue jumpsuit was now noticeably larger, rounder at the hips and thighs and more protruding at the stomach and chest. But it was her eyes that Winston remembered. The rest of her, he did not know.
She was standing with her hands on her hips. Winston noticed that the sash was no longer there. She slowly surveyed the room with a glance. There was a bit of shock in her eyes when they met Winston's. She came over and sat down across the table from him. Julia stared intently at the chessboard. Winston took another gulp from his glass and moved his rook to c8.
A few moments of silence passed. Winston hoped that the telescreen was not looking at them. Then again, nobody ever paid much attention to him anymore. He just wanted this moment to last.
Then she spoke, cracking the silence. "They're coming, Winston. It will be soon."
Winston nodded in mute agreement. He knew his death would be coming. He just never knew when.
"Why did you tell me this?"
Several more minutes passed. "I owed you a favor." She never once lifted her gaze from the board. "They threatened me with something I couldn't bear. I told them to do it to you. I betrayed you. All I cared about was myself. But I still owed you something."
She picked up the black queen and placed it on f6, next to the white queen; both were protected by a pawn.
"We can never meet again now, Winston." She abruptly got up and walked out the door.
Winston sat still, not saying another word the entire night. He knew the end was coming. He has been expecting it, since he left the Ministry of Love. He just never knew when.
Then it hit him. He moved his bishop to e4. Checkmate. White had won again.
He knew it would come. It could be tomorrow, next week or even next year. He just never knew when.

Teacher's comments: Pretty bleak‑ just like Orwell's. 94.

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