"1984" by George Orwell: Themes, Dialogue, Symbolism

Essay by bigkoreaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2006

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A certain theme that stuck out a lot in this book was the "Physical control" of the bodies of its subjects. Winston, is followed and looked over by the Party, everywhere he goes. They constantly watch to see if he makes any sign of disloyalty, so that if he does, they would arrest him. The Party forces their members to go through tough, heavy morning exercises, called Physical Jerks. After that, the members would work long grueling days at the government agencies, and would be in the state of exhaustion. The Party brutally beats and tortures the humans if they manage to defy the Party. On Page 245, there is a scene showing how O'Brien has physical control over Winston.

"That was forty," said O'Brien. You can see that the numbers on this dial run up to a hundred. Will you please remember throughout our conversation, that I have it in my power to inflict pain on you at any moment and to whatever degree I choose.

If you tell me any lies, or attempt to prevaricate in any way, or even fall below you usual level of intelligence you will cry out with pain, instantly. Do you understand that?"

Through that quote, you can see that O'Brien has total control. He can inflict pain to Winston any time he wants, even if Winston is telling the truth. This is the power of physical control. It's kind of similar to what Saddam Hussein did to his people, the Iraqis. If anyone was caught talking about the government, they would be persecuted. The more physical control you have, the more abilities you have with that control. O'Brien can do anything with Winston if he wanted to. He can beat him, kill him, starve him, torture him, etc. This is why physical...