English Life and Times

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English Essay Assignment

Name: Wilson Vaughan
Student Number: 500383588
Course Code: ENG 112
Professor: Kari Maaren
Date Due: April 5th, 2013.

The novels Watchmen and The Shining have very similar protagonists who are labelled "villains", Jack Torrance and Walter Kovacs also known as Rorschach. Coming from very similar upbringings these characters should be viewed more as heroes than they are villains. They are both comparable sympathetic characters although their stories are from very different settings. Both characters battle specific demons through out the novels that in a way lead to their undoing. They both suffer from a case of misconstrued intentions leading them to be viewed as villains. When in actuality they are the sympathetic heroes of both novels.

To start off, normally in novels the heroes of the book are the protagonists while the villains are the antagonists. Jack Torrance and Rorschach are clearly both the protagonists of their respective stories. The story more or less revolves around them. A villain is a character in a story or play who opposes the hero. A villain is one blamed for a particular evil. And, a villain usually tends to have a negative effect on the protagonists (Google; The Villain; Melanie Ann Phillips, 1982). Under these terms, our “villains” do not really fit. They are the protagonists plus their actions and intentions are also interfered with. Jack Torrance is not allowed to finish his book. Like wise Rorschach's investigations are halted by him being arrested. However, they are both generally blamed for a particular evil. Rorschach is blamed for a string of murders while Jack Torrance is to blame for his sons' exposure to a childhood full of verbal and physical abuse. At the same time these two characters fit in to what we understand as the modern day. A hero is a character who is admired for courage or noble qualities...
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