Room 101  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Room 101 is a place introduced in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

"You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world."
- O'Brien

Room 101 is a torture chamber in the Ministry of Love in which a prisoner is subjected to his or her own worst nightmare, i.e. his or her greatest fear or phobia. Such is the omniscience of the state in the society of Nineteen Eighty-Four that even a citizen's nightmares are known to the authorities. The nightmare—and therefore the threatened punishment—of the protagonist Winston Smith is to be attacked by rats. Smith saves himself by begging the authorities to let his lover, Julia, have her face gnawed out by the ferocious rodents instead. The torture—and what Winston does to escape it—breaks his last promise to himself and to Julia; never to betray her emotionally. The book suggests that Julia is likewise subjected to her own worst fear, when she and Winston later meet up in a park, he notices the scars on her cheeks. The original intent of threatening Winston with the rats was not necessarily to go through with the act, but to force him into betraying the only person he loved and therefore break his spirit.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Room 101" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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