Do the relationships in ones life define the individual himself or even the fate of that individual or are the relationships a reflection of the individuals characteristics, personality and choices? In the literary masterpieces, King Lear and 1984, the character relationships are the essence of the stories themselves. In each of these pieces, both Winston, the protagonist of 1984, and the major characters in King Lear are put through a series of situations, including isolation and betrayal, in which the relationships with other characters are important to their fate. In almost every instance, the connections between each character when based on love, trust and sex lead to the downfall of one of the individuals or both. Relationships that are based upon love, trust and sex, as shown in King Lear and 1984, are used to destroy rather then improve on a characters state of existence.
Love is a common theme in literature, and even though 1984’s main themes include the dangers of totalitarianism and psychological manipulation, love is still a prominent theme in the novel. The love that is displayed in 1984 between the characters Winston and Julia does not lead to an ending similar to that of a fairy tale, like many other classics do. Their love begins and ends in destruction, betrayal and hate. Winston and Julia are brought together by their combined hate for the Party, which is the totalitarian government controlling their society. However, their dislike must be kept secret or they will be taken by the Party’s Thought Police to the Ministry of Love, where they assume that their lives would be ended. Although Winston and Julia share this immense hatred for the Party itself, that seems to be the only common interest between them both. Julia is content with living her life the way she had been before she met Winston, using her outlawed sexual acts as a small, personal rebellion towards the Party. She did not take many risks as she believed that, “...all you needed was luck and cunning and boldness” (Orwell 142) in order to stay alive. Her relationship with Winston inevitably led to her capture. Winston’s love for Julia caused him to risk their lives by renting the room from Mr. Charrington who, unknowing to them, was a member of the Thought Police. His carelessness is shown in this quote, after he rents the room:
Folly, folly, folly! he thought again. It was inconceivable that they could frequent this place for more then a few weeks without being caught. But the temptation of having a hiding place that was truly their own, indoors and near at hand, had been too much to bear for the both of them. (Orwell 145)
The love between Julia and Winston made both of them reckless in a dangerous situation. The temptation of being together was enough to cause their capture and ruin their relationship. By the end of 1984, both the lives of Julia and Winston were altered negatively due to their carelessness caused by their love.
Destruction of one’s state of...