Damage at the Hands of the State: Comparative Analysis of 1984 and Stasiland 12th Grade

While some of the damage suffered by totalitarian governments appears to be only temporary, most forms of harm are shown to be more permanent and long-lasting. As explored in the figures of both Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 and Funder’s journalistic narrative Stasiland, psychological suffering has greater long-term effects compared to physical suffering. Non-permanent damage throughout the texts is presented as temporary relief that is short-lived and useless in the scheme of things. Factors determine the extent of how much one suffers at the hands of the state, such as severity of relationships with others and the individual’s faith and loyalty to the government, and how even the most faithful can face the dire consequences of their actions.

Though both physical and psychological suffering is shown throughout both texts, physical damage is proven to be the hardest to overcome. Although Miriam suffers from scarring on her hands as a result of climbing the wall and from the brutal treatment in prison, the psychological torture such as sleep deprivation took a larger toll on her, as “sleep deprivation also causes a number of neurological dysfunctions, which become more extreme the longer it continues”, and it is evident that the...

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