Exposure to Violence: Key to Change in Personality of Characters in George Orwell’s 1984 and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Exposure to Violence: Key to Change in Personality of Characters in George Orwell’s 1984 and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

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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 ...


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...op as a result of violence of some kind. Similar themes such as love being essential for one`s survival, are also factors that link the two books. However, the lack of a government impact in The Road in contrast to the immense government impact in 1984 is a key difference between the two novels. The lessons that can be learned from both novels are the importance of memories. Memories are clips and images of things that happened in the past stored in the brain. They are important because they remind people of past mistakes. Memories of past mistakes lessen the chances of making the same mistake again.



Works Cited

Life in USSR under Stalin." Life in USSR under Stalin. History Learning Site, 2000. Web. 24
Nov. 2013.

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited, 2006. Print.
Orwell, George. 1984. Toronto: Penguin Group Canada, 2008. Print.

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