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O'Brien as a Dehumanizing Villain in 1984

“Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.” According to George R.R. Martin, an estimable American novelist, an individual’s viewpoint in the end decides whether or not he views himself as a protagonist and deems his doings morally appropriate. These look to be the situations of O’Brien in George Orwell’s 1984. By way of the physical and psychological torture O’Brien imposes on Winston, and the deceitful claims O’Brien produced about getting in the Brotherhood, Orwell illustrates that a steep sacrifice is created when the implementation of villainy dehumanizes morals in exchange for even the slightest sum of power.

O’Brien chooses to capture and “re-educate” citizens in 1984 since he feels an empowering sense of purpose. In reality, his soul has currently been emptied out by the Party. Whilst Winston is in his cell, O’Brien tells him what the Inner Party will do to him when he says, “Never once more will you be capable of really like, or friendship, or joy, of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves” (Orwell 256). The Party’s concept of the ideal Oceanic citizen would harbor none of the qualities listed above, and thus the Celebration would dehumanize citizens in its search for energy. O’Brien, 1 who would be regarded the perfect citizen, ironically operates for the Inner Party and would go to intense measures to assert his allegiance to Huge Brother. When Winston is in Area 101, O’Brien says, “They are a form of stress that you cannot withstand, even if you wished to. You will do what is needed of you” (284). The physical and mental discomfort Winston endured during his capture ultimately shows how severely O’Brien will traumatize an individual in order to prove a point. In the physiological control of Winston, O’Brien feels as though he is full and has served his objective to the Party. This evil that thrives inside O’Brien is solely a result of his undivided loyalty to the Celebration. Orwell wants to leave his audience with the impression that extreme loyalty to an concept or organization can dehumanize everybody involved.

By means of the villainy of O’Brien, Orwell indicates that self-advantage and acquisition of power are greater priorities to a villainous person than the preservation of morals. The inhuman devotion O’Brien possesses toward Massive Brother shows that the bond among a well-respected notion and an individual who believes it is unbreakable. As O’Brien describes his elaborate plan in Winston’s cell, he tells Winston, “We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back. Things will occur to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. By no means again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling” (256). O’Brien’s lack of empathy for Winston’s pain is a clear indication that he expresses psychopathic symptoms. Orwell utilizes this approach to illustrate that intense loyalty to or belief in an notion can degrade the innate morals of an individual. The villainy of O’Brien tends to make the audience reconsider the morality of the extent to which one desires the attainment of energy, and what he will do in order to acquire such manage.

Orwell clearly demonstrates that O’Brien sacrifices the truth in order to make sure the acquisition of energy. Stretching the truth is a sign that an person is desperate, but deception shows that an individual is morally corrupt. Large Brother has set up the Brotherhood in order to safeguard his power and grip on Oceania. O’Brien stirs a rebellious passion in Winston and Julia, but they are later let down when they realize there is no hope for freedom. At the beginning of the book, Winston thinks to himself, “And if all other individuals accepted the lie which the Celebration imposed—if all records told the identical tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth”(34). Misrepresentation of truth is an inhumane way to accomplish energy. O’Brien thinks that the Celebration fakes the Brotherhood in order to develop and hold its control. This is tactic may possibly be based on human irrationality and underhanded manipulation, but it is mercilessly efficient.

O’Brien’s evil in 1984 is derived from his ultimate passion for the Celebration and its suggestions. As a result, Orwell shows that villainy is a disturbingly inherent human characteristic and can rupture typical human traits if utilized for private obtain. An person may possibly corrupt his morals in order to attain greater authority.



Works Cited “George R. R. Martin Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. Orwell, George, and Erich Fromm. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1961. Print. 14 Oct. 2016.
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