Describe Winston's hallucinations in Book 3, chapter 5.

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Winston finally arrives at room 101 for his ultimate torture. After O'Brien describes the torture and places the object in front of his face to let Winston's imagination deal with it, O'Brien prepares to put the rat cage device on Winston. At the point of putting it on, Winston tries to transfer this punishment to Julia, but then falls into a trance-like state and begins experiencing this during his torture:

...he had fallen through the floor, through the walls of the building, through the earth, through the oceans, through the atmosphere, into outer space, into the gulfs between the stars -- always away, away, away from the rats. He was light years distant, but O'Brien was still standing at his side.

Ironically, his mind escapes the rats and experiences a faithfulness of O'Brien which may be a representation of the Party. This hallucination is so important because it is his moment of complete transformation. O'Brien is able to use complete torture to develop total devotion from Winston. There was a psychological element at work in the effort to escape the rats that birthed Winston's new allegiance to the Party.