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English

Q. In the book '1984', what is O'Briens and Winston's connection?

An interesting question. O'Brien is Winston's interrogator. However, he is not like a usual interrogator. Usually people are tortured in order that they reveal information: captured soldiers and spies, for example. In 1984 the authorities know all about Winston. He has no secrets to reveal. Instead, they want to change him. They want to make him love Big Brother. This is achieved by physically and mentally breaking him down, to the point where he would betray the woman he loves in order to protect himself. They achieve this by brute force, yes, but also by the realtionship which O'Brien builds with Winston. Orwell writes that at times O'Brien would put his arm around Winston like an uncle. It is a very sophisticated model of a torturer. He succeeds. Winston does come to love BB. It is vital that O'Brien works on him the way he does. Just setting the armed thugs on Winston (as happens at the very start of the process) would have hurt him but it would never have broken his resistance. I hope this helps.

Submitted by: clara, (Age 15)

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Fairground Spells
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