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Rereading Nineteen Eighty Four Part III Chap 2 (4)

In and out of consciousness, surviving all sorts of torture, Winston is sure he hears O’Brien’s voice.  He felt  O’Brien beside him, just out of sight. O’Brien was directing everything, from setting the guards on him to  preventing them from killing him.   O’Brien was the tormentor,  the protector, the inquisitor,  the friend.

O’Brien was looking at him, saying;   ‘I told you that if we met again it would be here.’

‘Yes,’ said Winston.

Without  warning except a slight movement of O’Brien’s hand, a wave of pain flooded Winston’s body.

‘You are afraid that in another moment something is going to break. Your especial fear is that it will be your backbone. You have a vivid mental picture of the vertebrae snapping apart and the spinal fluid dripping out of them. That is what you are thinking, is it not, Winston?’

Although that was exactly what he had been thinking, Winston did not answer.  O’Brien drew back the lever on the dial, the pain receded.

‘That was forty,’ said O’Brien. ‘You can see that the numbers on this dial run up to a hundred….remember… I have it in my power to inflict pain on you… to whatever degree I choose… If you tell me any lies, or attempt to prevaricate in any way, or even fall below your usual level of intelligence, you will cry out with pain, instantly. Do you understand that?’

‘Yes,’ said Winston.

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