Nineteen Eighty-Four

“Sometimes,” she said, “they threaten you with something – something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. all you care about is yourself.”
“All you care about is yourself,” he echoed.
“And after that you don’t feel the same toward the other person any longer.”
“No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”
There did not seem to be anything more to say. The wind plastered their thin overalls against their bodies. Almost at once it became embarrassing to sit there in silence; besides, it was to cold to keep still. She said something about catching her tube and stood up to go.
“We must meet again,” he said.
“Yes,” she said, “we must meet again.”

George Orwell 1948

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