A Look at Violence

in 1984

My Thematic Statement

In 1984 there is obviously a lot of violence. When people are arrested it is a known fact that they are taken to the Ministry of Love and brutally tortured. However, all of the people endure the violence which is why my thematic statement is that no matter how much violence is used against you, the pain is more psychologically scarring than physically.

Now, obviously it is literally scarring your skin but all of the pain and torture is in your head. You will remember what the pain felt like and maybe even exaggerate how awful it was to the point where you will say or do ANYTHING so that you do not have to go through that again.

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Quotes to help explain

In the third part of the book Winston gets arrested and taken to the Ministry of Love. While there he was put in a jail cell with many other prisoners, some political like him and others murderers and thieves. The guards brought prisoners in and out of the cell the whole time that he was there. One of the destinations of the prisoners being taken out was the dreaded room 101. Now, no one knew what was in room 101 but they didn't care. All they needed to know was that it was terrible and their minds ran wild and made it the worst place every, so bad that they would endure ANYTHING else instead of going into that room. One of the prisoners that was brought in Winston described as looking like a skeleton he was so thin. You could tell that he has been there for a very long time. He had tons of scars and wounds from being beaten and his skin was translucent. When the guards came back for him they said that he had to go to room 101.

"Do anything to me!" he said. "You've been starving me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me. Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there somebody else you want me to give away? Just say who it is and I'll tell you anything you want. I don't care who it is or what you do to them. I've got a wife and three kids. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not Room 101!"

He didn't even know what was going to happen to him in that room but he was willing to watch his own children die instead of going to that room. The physical pain and torture would be worth it instead of the psychological torture that might be awaiting him.

After Winston was let out he was allowed to do what he pleased for the most part and no one payed any mind. One day he was wandering through the park and ran into Julia, who had also been released from the Ministry of Love. When he saw her he was not really sure what to think but she seemed very sure that she wanted nothing to do with him. They talked about their experiences from the Ministry.

"I betrayed you," she dais baldly.

"I betrayed you," he said.

She gave him another quick look of dislike.

"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with 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 you 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 towards the other person any longer."

"No," he said, "you don't feel the same."

After they had gone through all of the torture their scars had healed but now what remained was the psychological torture of betraying each other.