Permalink for this paragraph 0 In my British Novels class we have just finished reading and discussing perhaps the most famous dystopian novel of all time: 1984 by George Orwell. I found the concepts in this novel very interesting: the destruction of language, control of thought, the communist oligarchy, etc. The aspect that hit me the hardest was Room 101. For those who haven’t read 1984 this is the place where people are forced to face thier worst fears (drowning, burning to death, being eaten by rats). Room 101 is the last stop in Big Brother’s torture, an effort to eliminate individual thought and resistance to Big Brothers power. The torture scenes in the novel are truly horrific.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 These themes of torture and personalised attack piqued my curiosity. I have seen these so many times before, and yet each work dealt with them so differently.
Permalink for this paragraph 1 The first connection I made to Room 101 was the bogart in the Harry Potter series. The bogart is a magical creature translation of Room 101, tranforming into the thing you fear most. For any Potter fan it is amusing to look back on that scene in The Prisoner of Azkaban when all the students learn to turn thier worst fear (the bogart) into something ridiculous. In terms of torture the Dementors are also quite effective in getting people to submit as they suck all the happiness out of a person.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 The second connection I made to 1984 was to Hunger Games. Thought control is in fact used in the series by the Capitol to torture the rebels. The term used is hijacking where a victim is infected with trackerjacker venom (hallucinatory, painful, terrifying) when thinking about those they love. They then associate the loved one with the pain and terror, often creating horrible stories about them in thier minds. The influence of Room 101 can be seen in the use of jabberjays to torture competitors in the Games. Jabberjays would accerately mimic the dying, terrified voices of the contestants loved ones.
Permalink for this paragraph 2 I just find it so interesting to tie these different works together. Did they build off each other? Is the concept of personalized torture just so prevalent in our history that it constantly crops up? These are such unique interpretations of the same idea that it confounds me a bit. Does anyone else find these connections curious or telling?