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, a person’s perspective eventually decides whether he views himself as a lead character and deems his behaviors morally proper. These seem to be the circumstances of O’Brien in George Orwell’s 1984. Through the physical and psychological abuse O’Brien troubles Winston, and the deceitful claims O’Brien made about remaining in the Brotherhood, Orwell illustrates that a steep sacrifice is made when the implementation of villainy dehumanizes morals in exchange for even the smallest sum of power.

O’Brien chooses to catch and “re-educate” people in 1984 because he feels an empowering sense of function. In reality, his soul has already been cleared out by the Party. While Winston remains in his cell, O’Brien informs him what the Inner Celebration will do to him when he says, “Never ever again will you can love, or relationship, or pleasure, of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or nerve, or integrity. You will be hollow. We will squeeze you empty, and then we will fill you with ourselves” (Orwell 256). The Party’s concept of the perfect Oceanic citizen would harbor none of the qualities noted above, and hence the Celebration would dehumanize citizens in its search for power. O’Brien, one who would be considered the ideal citizen, ironically works for the Inner Party and would go to extreme steps to assert his loyalty to Huge Sibling. When Winston remains in Room 101, O’Brien says, “They are a kind of pressure that you can not endure, even if you wanted to. You will do what is required of you” (284 ). The physical and mental discomfort Winston endured during his capture ultimately shows how significantly O’Brien will shock somebody in order to prove a point. In the physiological control of Winston, O’Brien feels as though he is total and has served his purpose to the Party. This evil that prospers within O’Brien is solely an outcome of his concentrated loyalty to the Celebration. Orwell wants to leave his audience with the impression that extreme loyalty to a concept or organization can dehumanize everybody included.

Through the villainy of O’Brien, Orwell indicates that self-benefit and acquisition of power are higher concerns to a villainous person than the conservation of morals. The inhuman commitment O’Brien has toward Big Sibling shows that the bond between a well-respected concept and an individual who believes it is unbreakable. As O’Brien explains his elaborate strategy in Winston’s cell, he tells Winston, “We will squash you down to the point from which there is no returning. Things will take place to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never ever once again will you can ordinary human sensation” (256 ). O’Brien’s absence of empathy for Winston’s discomfort is a clear indicator that he expresses demented signs. Orwell uses this approach to illustrate that extreme loyalty to or belief in an idea can break down the innate morals of a person. The villainy of O’Brien makes the audience reconsider the morality of the level to which one desires the attainment of power, and what he will carry out in order to gain such control.

Orwell clearly demonstrates that O’Brien sacrifices the fact in order to guarantee the acquisition of power. Extending the truth is an indication that an individual is desperate, however deception shows that an individual is morally corrupt. Huge Sibling has established the Brotherhood in order to secure his power and grip on Oceania. O’Brien stirs a rebellious passion in Winston and Julia, but they are later pull down when they understand there is no wish for flexibility. At the beginning of the book, Winston believes to himself, “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party enforced– if all records informed the same tale– then the lie passed into history and became reality”( 34 ). Misrepresentation of truth is an inhumane method to achieve power. O’Brien thinks that the Party fakes the Brotherhood in order to grow and keep its control. This is tactic may be based on human irrationality and underhanded control, but it is mercilessly reliable.

O’Brien’s evil in 1984 is originated from his ultimate enthusiasm for the Party and its ideas. Therefore, Orwell shows that villainy is a disturbingly inherent human characteristic and can burst common human qualities if used for individual gain. An individual might corrupt his morals in order to achieve higher authority.

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

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