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-(Interviewer)You’re under arrest.

-(Burgess) I beg your pardon?

-You’re under arrest.

-You’re joking. Yes, joking. I knew somehow you were joking.

-But for a moment you thought I was serious.

-Yes, I did. God help me, I did. You think even the right to free speech may be a lulling device of Big Brother? You think he’s really watching us? That he’ll emerge as the persona of some great industrial combine, an international octopus, just when we least expect him?

-We have to be on our guard.

-I’ll accept that.

This passage from 1985 is how it is exactly written on the pdf version. But there is one problem.

I suppose it is more logical to think that the following part is said by the Interviewer not by Burgess: "You think even the right to free speech may be a lulling device of Big Brother? You think he’s really watching us? That he’ll emerge as the persona of some great industrial combine, an international octopus, just when we least expect him?"

Am I wrong? Is it possible that this is a mistake made by the editors of the book? Or maybe the pdf version I have is not the final one.

1 Answer 1

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Checked a printed edition (Beautiful Books), published in 2010, the division of lines between the two voices in the Epilogue is as you quoted them (the book uses italics to distinguish between the two):

You're under arrest.

I beg your pardon?

You're under arrest.

You’re joking. Yes, joking. I knew somehow you were joking.

But for a moment you thought I was serious.

Yes, I did. God help me [...]

We have to be on our guard.

I’ll accept that.

1
  • Don't you think this sequence is logically mistaken?
    – Abw
    Nov 19, 2023 at 13:14

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