“The arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as «two and two make five» were beyond his intellectual grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.
All the while, with one part of his mind, he wondered how soon they would shoot him. «Everything depends on yourself,» O'Brien had said; but he knew that there was no conscious actby which he could bring it nearer.”