“How Are Ralph, Winston and the Imperfections in Their Characters Used to Contrast the Corruption Surrounding Them?”

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Totalitarianism, Political corruption Pages: 3 (1172 words) Published: October 30, 2011
“How are Ralph, Winston and the imperfections in their characters used to contrast the corruption surrounding them?”

One can perceive a character not just by what they do that distinguishes them, but what they do that any normal person would do. “Lord of the Flies” and “1984” both involve corrupt governments, with manipulative figures such as Jack and Big Brother respectively. Ralph and Winston share a natural susceptibility to the attraction of this corruption, and the authors use this weakness to reveal much more about power and the people in the two novels. Each character has faults that tend to be shared by humans in general, and with these the scale of corruption in the environments and the many facets of human nature are slowly revealed.

In “Lord of the Flies”, the boys begin their time on the island in a fairly civilised manner, organizing meetings and a bare-bones democratic society. However, as Jack manipulates the boys’ fear of the Beast in order to form his own tribe where he is Chief, the juxtaposition of this with Ralph’s defiance and defense of democracy provides a dramatic contrasting marker with which the reader can plainly see the level of corruption in the boys’ developing society. For example, in Chapter Nine, after the feast when Jack forms his own tribe, Ralph’s unsuccessful attempt to remind the boys of democracy by using the conch further reveals the degeneration into corruption, as the shell that had been so greatly revered by the boys at first was now an obsolete object of the past. A characteristic point that applies for both characters is that they are virtually alone in their pursuit of justice and truth against a proportionally vast opposition, indicating how alluring the acceptance of corruption has been that only one or two sparks of a society of old remain.

In “1984”, Winston’s drive for freedom with Julia is particularly effective in expanding Oceania’s corruption because of the risks he takes and the moral sacrifices...
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