O’Brien explains that Winston was brought here to be ‘cured’ . To be made sane. And informs him that:
‘.. no one whom we bring to this place ever leaves our hands uncured. We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed …The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them. Do you understand what I mean by that?’
Although not clearly enunciated, it is evident that the purpose of the torture was to turn a person into a mindless sheep who will obey the party.
The basic tenents of 1984 are revealed in this portion of the Chapter.
‘…understand is that … there are no martyrdoms…the Inquisition… was a failure. It set out to eradicate heresy, and ended by perpetuating it. For every heretic it burned at the stake, thousands of others rose up….the Inquisition killed its enemies in the open, and killed them while they were still unrepentant: in fact, it killed them because they were unrepentant.”
“…all the glory belonged to the victim and all the shame to the Inquisitor… in the twentieth century… were the…Nazis and the Russian Communists. “
O’Brien goes on to explain the danger of making martyrs. They must undergo;
“… torture and solitude until they were despicable, cringing wretches, confessing whatever was put into their mouths, covering themselves with abuse, accusing and sheltering behind one another, whimpering for mercy.”