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Room 101 Essay Ideas

A rare instance of a phrase entering the English language and having a meaning quite distinct from any other English phrase - Room 101.

Nobody who has read and understood 1984 can fail to feel a tingle in the spine at the thought of Room 101. It is where people's minds are so totally destroyed that it creates the equivalent to complete re-programming.

Orwell demonstrates the necessity of using Room 101 by the amount of time Winston & Julia are allowed to continue their affair. Mr Cherrington, as a member of the Thought Police, was aware of Winston's unorthodoxy right from the start, so why was he allowed to remain at large? The Thought Police needed to be assured that they knew his deepest, most secret, most feared phobia. Many people have lots of fears - spiders, heights, the dark - but there will be one overwhelming fear which cannot be faced under any circumstances, and it is imperative for the Party to find out what it is.

Winston's rat episode is the trigger for action by the Thought Police.

With this fear exposed and exploited, O'Brien is able to destroy Winston's will - he is an empty vessel, signified by the change in attitude after he renounces Julia. The knowledge that he would swap places with the one person in the world he thought he loved more than himself is inescapable and Winston is able to be programmed like a blank disk.

When a prisoner is ordered to Room 101, he begins to scream and beg not to be taken there. Given that nobody who hasn't been re-programmed already knows what Room 101 actually is, I'm sure this man is a plant to allow the fear to fester in Winston's mind. He will be expecting the worst, then has the realisation that Room 101 is far worse than he could have imagined.

The question of what Julia's Room 101 might be has come up often.

The only clue - if it is one - in the book is Julia's loathing of the thought of sex with Inner Party members and I think there's a case that her Room 101 would have been multiple rape by Inner Party members.

Room 101 is the ultimate weapon in the world of the Thought Police. Only through its use can dissent be re-created as love - of both BB and the Party.

So, what was Orwell trying to say with Room 101?

He was teaching us that all things are possible within a mind if it is forced to confront its worst fear, that we all have those fears, and maybe, in his own way, George Orwell was trying to tell us not to let those fears overcome us - if we deal with fears, they will never grow to Room 101 proportions.

All continuing comments and questions are welcome.

List Of Things In Room 101

Below, exclusive to British Comedy Guide, is the complete list of the things that were banished to the oblivion of Room 101 during the original television series, between 1994 and 2007.

- The French
- Ventriloquists
- Elvis Presley
- Postman Pat
- Hello! magazine
- Turly, Madly, Deeply
- A Parliamentary Affair by Edwina Currie
- 1975
- Jazz
- The Magic Roundabout
- Bonn, Germany
- The "Dear Son" Nationwide Advert
- 1970s softcore German pornography
- Margi Clark
- The FA Cup
- The Our Tune section of Simon Bates's radio shows.
- Snoopy
- Space hoppers
- Leggings
- TV cop shows
- The Word
- Casualty
- Long gloves
- Euro Disney
- Come Dancing
- Faeces
- Songs of Praise
- Unidentified tubes of meat
- William Shakespeare
- Action Man
- Rodents, especially rats
- Australian TV programmes
- DIY
- Richard and Judy
- Children using the telephone
- Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree
- Maths teachers
- Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
- Jilly Goolden
- Vivienne Westwood
- Dogs with disproportionately large genitals
- Germaine Greer's post
- Michael Portillo's lips
- TV series The Choir
- BBC Radio 2
- The 1960s
- Insurance companies
- Car stickers
- Cricket
- The USA and American people
- Student backpackers
- Public schoolboys
- Blue Peter
- Caravans
- Last Of The Summer Wine
- The Bay City Rollers
- 3-2-1
- American football
- EastEnders
- Guests on Wogan
- The sound of posh people talking
- Liverpool
- Jacket and jeans combination
- Sooty
- Mystic Meg
- Clowns
- Soap stars singing
- Skiing
- Dinner parties
- Doctors' surgeries
- US fitness TV channels
- Ferrero Rocher
- The YMCA dance
- Telephone chat-up lines
- Baby talk
- Films with subtitles
- Men's public toilets
- Being a teacher
- New Year's Eve
- People who don't know how to argue
- People who dress up as mascots
- Weather forecasters
- Teletubbies
- Celebrities doing jobs for which they are not qualified
- Portsmouth
- Muzak
- Chris Evans
- Spike Milligan's house
- Soap operas
- Hunting
- Parties
- The dark
- Richard Madeley
- Oysters
- Beach holidays
- Paul Daniels
- Shopping for shoes
- Margaret Thatcher
- Plastic wrappers around video tapes and CDs
- The skin on rice pudding and custard
- Cockroaches
- Pocket billiards (aka men adjusting their genitals in public)
- Decorative toilet roll covers
- Paper Roses by Marie Osmond
- TV cookery programmes
- Leggings
- Gentlemen's clubs
- Housework
- Celebrity parties
- The fact that dogs don't live long enough
- Kissing on both cheeks
- Mathematics
- Posh tea
- Jeffery Archer
- Soppy love songs
- Uninformed journalists
- Cyclists
- Bill Bailey's TV debut with a mind reading dog
- The revamped theme tune to The Bill
- The 1980s
- Chris de Burgh
- Corporate fast food
- Extended warranties
- Cat lovers
- "God Save the Queen"
- Ken Livingstone
- Builders who mock Janet Street-Porter's accent
- BBC Radio 1 DJs
- Stephen Bailey and other design gurus
- Cockney culture
- Wigs
- Lawyers
- Smoking bans
- Section 28
- Cooked apples
- Golf
- Bed and Breakfast
- The crown jewels
- Cheese footballs
- The Royal Family going abroad
- Dogs' lips
- Plucky underdog films
- Synchronised swimming
- DIY makeover shows
- Top Gear
- Cheese
- Pointless science
- Disney
- Short people
- Pretentious food
- Modern country music
- Silent letters
- Pet accessories
- Alan Ball
- Gifts from elderly relatives
- Boy bands
- Reverence to the Royal Family
- Mini-cab drivers who honk to let you know they have arrived
- Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus
- Litter
- Slugs
- Snot
- Pedal-bin hair
- Liz Hurley
- Thongs
- Realistic toys
- Instruction manuals
- France
- Eating in cinemas
- Politicians
- Rap music
- Tonsils
- Student drama
- Protest raps
- Nautical fashion
- P.E. teachers
- Children's TV presenters
- Big Mouth Billy Bass
- Ben Elton
- Media training
- 24 hour news channels
- Late-night review shows
- New Age
- Australian questioning intonation
- Room 101
- People who force holiday reps to entertain, even though they have no talent
- Internet chat rooms
- Novelty underpants
- Men with colds
- Shielding the ball in football
- Shopping for clothes
- Robert Kilroy-Silk
- Horses
- Static electricity
- Cirque du Soleil
- Starbucks coffee houses
- Carved vegetables
- Abuse of handicapped parking privileges
- George Carey, The Archbishop of Canterbury
- Maybugs
- Loud music in restaurants
- Plastic wrapping
- Marzipan
- Anne Robinson
- Winter
- Cross country running
- Zoos
- Doctor Who
- Miss World and other beauty contests
- Powerboats
- Shirley Bassey
- Babies in restaurants
- Lateness
- Children in Need
- Noisy people
- Hangovers
- Daft questions at interviews
- Rudeness
- Overlarge entourages
- Pop stars who mime
- Lynda Lee Potter
- Richard Clayderman
- Hard boiled eggs
- Adults who read Harry Potter novels
- Tim Henman
- 'Back to school' signs
- Comic operas
- Service charge
- Okra
- Craig David
- Cartoon animals that wear clothes
- Clipboards
- Christian rock music
- Concrete
- Merchandising
- Actors
- Pointless tourist attractions
- Footballers who complain
- Lollo rosso lettuce, bottled water and bruised Jack Daniels
- The rules of golf
- Announcers (mostly female) who shout at the end of a sentence
- Directors who make fast cuts
- Cowboy boots
- Britney Spears
- 'Baby on board' stickers
- Queueing
- Out-of-date magazines
- Trisha
- Cocaine
- Tracey Emin being drunk
- Clowns
- Ice cream vans
- Traffic calming measures
- Barney the Dinosaur
- God
- Rude and incompetent restaurant staff
- Drivers who wait at green traffic lights
- Bad liars
- Detox diets
- Skiing holidays
- Small evening bags
- Male yoga teachers
- Open-air theatres
- Hecklers and comperes
- London buses
- Fussy make-up artists
- Education
- Notting Hill
- Once-in-a-lifetime experiences
- Banter
- Gillian McKeith
- Magicians
- Schmoozers
- Call centres
- Adverts that do not mention what is being sold
- American English
- Science fiction
- Random firework displays
- Moths
- 19-year-old girls
- Bad nightclub etiquette
- The Royal Variety Performance
- The honours system
- Dates (the fruit)
- The House of Commons
- Raffles and raffle prizes
- Chiswick post office
- Immaculate men
- Cows, sheep and horses
- Rooks
- Southend
- Glitter in greeting cards
- Satellite navigation systems in cars
- Charmless muggers
- Jellyfish
- Balloons
- Televangelists
- Swimming trunks
- Instruction manuals
- List shows
- The Gallagher brothers
- Weather forecasters
- Famous people who say, "Do you know who I am?"
- Camera phones
- Unwrapped food
- Airline emergency procedures
- Marcus Brigstocke's own appetite
- Football
- David Blaine
- Personalised number plates
- Grammar bullies (like Lynne Truss)
- Global warming
- Mobile phones in theatres
- Barbecues
- Dogs living in cities
- Bono
- Obsession with crime
- Politicians who falsely claim they are in touch with modern culture
- Space travel
- Fake things
- Male world leaders
- The music of Frank Sinatra
- Paul Merton and Ian Hislop
- Traffic Wardens

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Written by: Ian Wolf

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