Exposure To Violence: Key To Change In Personality Of Characters In George Orwell’s 1984 And Cormac Mc Carthy’s The Road

2035 words - 8 pages

As Joseph Stalin took over the USSR in 1929, he kept a tight control over his people. Stalin did not want any of his people questioning his actions and decisions. He wanted complete control of not only the country but also of all the people that lived in it. Stalin came up with an idea that would help him achieve this: strip people of their freedom. He started to take control over what the people read, what they watched and what they listened to. Stalin glorified his name in all types of media and if anybody said otherwise they were sent to harsh labour camps. Stalin also changed the children’s history books in a way that overvalued him so that he could control the next generation ("Life in USSR under Stalin.") The novel 1984, by George Orwell, presents a post-apocalyptic world where a ruling party similarly manipulates the people’s memories in order to have infinite power and control. In this novel a man named Winston has memories of the past political state that exist before the Party’s existence which spark a desire within him to rebel, but he is caught and tortured until he believes that his memories are lies. Similarly, in the novel The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, a man and a boy travel an abandoned road in a post-apocalyptic America. The Man has dreams of the old world and he believes that these are signs that his death is near. Both 1984 and The Road are similar in the way they depict memories and dreams of the past as a symbol for a troublesome future. Both books are also similar in the way they portray love as a necessity for survival. Also, these novels are similar in the way they expose Winston and the Boy to violence in order to negatively develop their characters to enhance the books. However, the novels differ in that 1984 has a strict government that has taken control and has enforced laws whereas in The Road there is no government and no laws, which influence the different settings of the books.
Both the Man and Winston rely on the love they have for their significant other as a strong means for survival in the post-apocalyptic world each of them live in. First, Winston loves Julia because she provides him with opportunities to carry out the little acts of rebellion he needs to satisfy his conscience. When Winston reflects on his relationship with Julia the narrator describes, “She had become a physical necessity” (Orwell 146). Julia satisfies Winston’s needs so well that she had become as important to him as water or food. Winton gives Julia such high stature in his life because he infatuated by her due to the fact she understands his desire to rebel against the Party. Thus, the love between the two is crucial for Winston’s survival because she satisfies his mental need to rebel against the authority. Similarly, in The Road, the Man loves the Boy which is why he is constantly worrying about the Boy’s survival and in order for him to survive he must also survive for as long as he can. As the Boy and the Man converse one...

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