1984: O'Brien's true identity

victim or villian?

I choose villian

There is slight controversy over whether or not O’Brien is playing the role of the victim or the villain in 1984. We learn that he deceives Winston by the second part of the book, and that is the first indicator that he is not a guy you can trust. Although the Party is very influential and impacts most everybody who comes in contact with it, people essentially have the power to choose and think for themselves. One hint that gives it away is on page 209 it states, “There was a trace of amusement I O’Brien’s face”. This is not someone who is being forced to torture someone; this is someone who enjoys inflicting pain on others. Later down the paragraph is says that his face does not change. This proves that he is completely conscious about what he is doing and doesn’t mind torturing Winston. You can’t claim that he is the victim in a situation where he has the opportunity to walk away. Winston was smart enough to know the truth and O’Brien should be too.