Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Part Three: Section II

Ever since the moment the Thought Police had arrested me, I had not seen darkness or daylight. I had been beaten several times, every time with something different. Sometimes it was steel rods, at others they were boots. The people who beat me, though, were always five or six men in black uniforms. They even slapped my face and pulled my hair. Now I knew what true torture felt like.

My sole concern was to find out what they wanted me to confess and do it as quickly as possible. And that was what I did. I confessed that I had been in a spy, a religious believer, an admirer of Capitalism and a sexual pervert. I had nothing to be afraid of, though. All I had said was the truth.

O'Brien was directing everything. I didn't know what he was anymore. He was the tormentor, the protector, the inquisitor, and the friend. Apparently the Party didn't care about the stupid crimes we had committed; all they were interested in was the thought behind it. He asked me several questions and told me that if I didn't answer the truth, I would instantly cry out in pain. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant, but I didn't want to risk anything by taking a chance. O'Brien had stopped my pain and I was truly thankful. I had never loved him more deeply than I did at that moment.

A blinding flash of light hit. As my eyes regained my focus, I, for once, remembered who and where I was. Somewhere, though, I could feel a large path of emptiness. It was almost as if a piece had been taken out of my brain.

"Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, 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" (256).

I asked O'Brien what he did with Julia, but all he told me was that if I had seen here, I would hardly recognize her. All her rebelliousness and what I knew about her was burned out of her. According to him, it was "a perfect conversion." I even asked him about the Brotherhood, but he told me I would never know. For as long as I lived, it would be an unsolved riddle in my mind. Feeling curious, I finally asked what was in Room 101. He didn't answer, assuming I knew. But I didn't. I had no idea.

- Winston Smith

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