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Research Paper - Torture in 1984 by Orwell

            As Eduardo Galliano said "The purpose of torture is not getting information." Torture has a long and rich history; in fact torture started in the first civilizations as a mean to extract information. The effectiveness of torture can be debated as it provides false information. Torture is also a topic that has been spoken about many times recently and is in many works of literature. In George Orwell's timeless classic 1984, the Ministry of Love catches Winston and O'Brian administers many forms of torture which are routine and painful torture and something similar to electroconvulsive shock therapy. In the novel, Winston is jailed by the Ministry of Love because of his rebellious thoughts. During his stay in the Ministry of Love he is tortured many times so that they change his mentality about Big Brother. Modern research has proved that this type of change is possible with the use of routine torture, electroconvulsive shock therapy, and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation; Furthermore, O'Brian's methods are horribly similar to Stalin's techniques as he did not want anyone to die as a martyr. .
             George Orwell understood the true meaning of torture and the way Stalin used it. The way O'Brian tortured Winston and the way Stalin tortured his prisoners were extremely similar. Stalin believed that it "was not enough that a confession be extracted under duress – for any thug with a truncheon could extract this. Much more important that the individual would welcome the executioner's bullet as a just retribution for the crimes that they had committed against the State, the Motherland and Koba (as Stalin was sometimes affectionately known)" (O'Mara 58). This quote says that Stalin wanted not only to extract information, he wanted to completely brainwash the prisoner into believing that he was at fault. O'Brian in 1984 had similar thoughts, telling Winston that the purpose of the party is not to punish but to "cure" its people.

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