The Body In Pain by Elaine Scarry


Elaine in her first chapter of book “The structure of pain” talks about what a person thinks and feels when he goes through pain while being interrogated or tortured. She says that the pain a person goes through determines that the person being tortured is powerless and the torturer is authoritative and powerful. She further explains that there are three stages of suffering from pain (torture) i.e

1. Person being tortured in different ways that the intensity of pain increases gradually.

2. The person is tortured in a way that the pain emerges out of his body, the body becomes the manifestation of pain.

3. The manifestation of pain on the tortured body is the power of the torturer.

Further more she describes the torture that it can be verbal as well, the tone and questions of the torturer are verbal pain. she says both torture and interrogations depends on two thing, the interrogation depends on verbal pain, while torture depends on physical assaults/ pain. The torturer expects somethings from the person being tortured and when he is not satisfied he tortures his subject.

The image that u see above is the most famous technique used in the world to torture the person in the interrogation period. One can clearly have the idea of what this person will be going through, he is hanged by his hands due to which the pressure of the whole body is on his shoulders and arms, that wasn’t enough for the torturer’s satisfaction that he is now burning the body of the subject through cigarettes and hot irons. This type of techniques are used by the interrogators to get answers/ facts from the person being interrogated, most of the time the subject takes the charge of being guilty (while he is innocent) so that he doesn’t have to go through such pain anymore. Elaine says that without giving such pain the interrogation process is incomplete as they are dependent on each other.

She further describes that we might get the idea of the pain that person is going through but we cant feel the intensity of pain without experiencing it because pain is something which can only be felt and cannot be measures or described. This is the main reason due to which the torturer doesn’t refrain from abusing/ assaulting the body of the person, the only thing they are interested in is the information or answer they require or may be to satisfy their need of anger on the subject in some cases. In the above torturous situations the subject becomes unconscious and at some point they doesn’t feel the pain anymore because they become numb, that why the torturers through out the world give breaks while interrogating subjects.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s