Recordaba la habitación donde vivían, una estancia oscura y siempre cerrada casi totalmente ocupada por la cama. Había un hornillo de gas y un estante donde ponía los alimentos. Recordaba el cuerpo estatuario de su madre inclinado sobre el hornillo de gas moviendo algo en la sartén. Sobre todo recordaba su continua hambre y las sórdidas y feroces batallas a las horas de comer. Winston le preguntaba a su madre, con reproche una y otra vez, por qué no había más comida. Gritaba y la fastidiaba, descompuesto en su afán de lograr una parte mayor. Daba por descontado que él, el varón, debía tener la ración mayor. Pero por mucho que la pobre mujer le diera, él pedía invariablemente más. En cada comida la madre le suplicaba que no fuera tan egoísta y recordase que su hermanita estaba enferma y necesitaba alimentarse; pero era inútil. Winston cogía pedazos de comida del plato de su hermanita y trataba de apoderarse de la fuente. Sabía que con su conducta condenaba al hambre a su madre y a su hermana, pero no podía evitarlo. Incluso creía tener derecho a ello. El hambre que le torturaba parecía justificarlo. Entre comidas, si su madre no tenía mucho cuidado, se apoderaba de la escasa cantidad de alimento guardado en la alacena.
Un día dieron una ración de chocolate. Hacía mucho tiempo -meses enteros- que no daban chocolate. Winston recordaba con toda claridad aquel cuadrito oscuro y preciadísimo. Era una tableta de dos onzas (por entonces se hablaba todavía de onzas) que les correspondía para los tres. Parecía lógico que la tableta fuera dividida en tres partes iguales. De pronto -en el ensueño-, como si estuviera escuchando a otra persona, Winston se oyó gritar exigiendo que le dieran todo el chocolate. Su madre le dijo que no fuese ansioso. Discutieron mucho; hubo llantos, lloros, reprimendas, regateos… su hermanita agarrándose a la madre con las dos manos -exactamente como una monita- miraba a Winston con ojos muy abiertos y llenos de tristeza. Al final, la madre le dio al niño las tres cuartas partes de la tableta y a la hermanita la otra cuarta parte. La pequeña la cogió y se puso a mirarla con indiferencia, sin saber quizás lo que era. Winston se la quedó mirando un momento. Luego, con un súbito movimiento, le arrancó a la nena el trocito de chocolate y salió huyendo.
-¡Winston! ¡Winston! -le gritó su madre . Ven aquí, devuélvele a tu hermana el chocolate.
El niño se detuvo pero no regresó a su sitio. Su madre lo miraba preocupadísima. Incluso en ese momento, pensaba en aquello, en lo que había de suceder de un momento a otro y que Winston ignoraba. La hermanita, consciente de que le habían robado algo, rompió a llorar. Su madre la abrazó con fuerza. Algo había en aquel gesto que le hizo comprender a Winston que su hermana se moría. Salió corriendo escaleras abajo con el chocolate derretiéndosele entre los dedos.
Nunca volvió a ver a su madre.
1984. George Orwell
He remembered the room where they lived, a dark, close-smelling room that seemed half filled by a bed with a white counterpane. There was a gas ring in the fender, and a shelf where food was kept, and on the landing outside there was a brown earthenware sink, common to several rooms. He remembered his mother's statuesque body bending over the gas ring to stir at something in a saucepan. Above all he remembered his continuous hunger, and the fierce sordid battles at meal-times. He would ask his mother naggingly, over and over again, why there was not more food, he would shout and storm at her (he even remembered the tones of his voice, which was beginning to break prematurely and sometimes boomed in a peculiar way), or he would attempt a snivelling note of pathos in his efforts to get more than his share. His mother was quite ready to give him more than his share. She took it for granted that he, 'the boy', should have the biggest portion; but however much she gave him he invariably demanded more. At every meal she would beseech him not to be selfish and to remember that his little sister was sick and also needed food, but it was no use. He would cry out with rage when she stopped ladling, he would try to wrench the saucepan and spoon out of her hands, he would grab bits from his sister's plate. He knew that he was starving the other two, but he could not help it; he even felt that he had a right to do it. The clamorous hunger in his belly seemed to justify him. Between meals, if his mother did not stand guard, he was constantly pilfering at the wretched store of food on the shelf.
One day a chocolate-ration was issued. There had been no such issue for weeks or months past. He remembered quite clearly that precious little morsel of chocolate. It was a two-ounce slab (they still talked about ounces in those days) between the three of them. It was obvious that it ought to be divided into three equal parts. Suddenly, as though he were listening to somebody else, Winston heard himself demanding in a loud booming voice that he should be given the whole piece. His mother told him not to be greedy. There was a long, nagging argument that went round and round, with shouts, whines, tears, remonstrances, bargainings. His tiny sister, clinging to her mother with both hands, exactly like a baby monkey, sat looking over her shoulder at him with large, mournful eyes. In the end his mother broke off three-quarters of the chocolate and gave it to Winston, giving the other quarter to his sister. The little girl took hold of it and looked at it dully, perhaps not knowing what it was. Winston stood watching her for a moment. Then with a sudden swift spring he had snatched the piece of chocolate out of his sister's hand and was fleeing for the door.
'Winston, Winston!' his mother called after him. 'Come back! Give your sister back her chocolate!'
He stopped, but did not come back. His mother's anxious eyes were fixed on his face. Even now he was thinking about the thing, he did not know what it was that was on the point of happening. His sister, conscious of having been robbed of something, had set up a feeble wail. His mother drew her arm round the child and pressed its face against her breast. Something in the gesture told him that his sister was dying. He turned and fled down the stairs' with the chocolate growing sticky in his hand.
He never saw his mother again.
1984. George Orwell