The purpose of dystopian literature is to dehumanize the individual To what extent do the novels Nineteen Eighty Four and the Road support or refute this view?
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'The purpose of dystopian literature is to dehumanize the individual' To what extent do the novels Nineteen Eighty Four and the Road support or refute this view? The dystopian novels The Road and Nineteen Eighty Four demonstrate the push and pull between the utopian and dystopian societies in their narratives. Dystopian literature often seems to be a deterrent to the reader the nightmarish lifestyles presented to us by each individual protagonist characters dehumanized due to the desolate and barren lifestyles presented in each text. However, despite this, the bleak settings seem to send messages of optimism, and to some extent hope, through the interactions of characters in each novel. In The Road the boy and the father are seen to be two people left who are not dehumanized by the new apocalyptic society. They do not conform to cannibalism, rape or murder; however their humanity is tested through the desolate landscapes and their lack of human contact and refusal to help those they do meet in this new society. Although the father only has the boy his humanity is clear as they are "each other worlds entire" showing he only lives for his son.
Through the allusions to Everyman, where the Father in The Road, and Winston in Nineteen Eighty= four play as characters they also play a part of the Christian from the Pilgrims Progress, this is allude to the journeys and challenges presented to both of the men bringing another sense of optimism to themselves and to the reader. While this journey tends to out way the dangers and hardships they are going face on their way. McCarthy's journey is a pilgrimage, the father and boy are searching for a place of hope, and it is a contrast with Winston. He is searching for truth in a society that is created through lies, and manufactured stories of the past. Religion seems to be absent in The Road there is no god, but a slight biblical reference "There is no God, we're his prophets" suggesting that he and the boy are meant to spread the knowledge of the last society. He said "if he is not the word of God, God never spoke". McCarthy seems to use "taken them from this world". So that we would think the prophets were taken from this world, and suggest a Religious war may have destroyed civilisation.
Eventually, the worlds which Orwell and McCarthy create dehumanise the individuals from their societies in the protagonists eyes, therefore making them outcasts from their societies, the lack of justice present backs this, as they both have lost legal systems and punishments are not officially known, although in the Road justice as the new post apocalyptic society seems to be chaos. Winston is an outcast but no one else seems to care or even notices and therefore he is dehumanised although he does conform in the end, it is forced on him whereas the father and the son are outcasts within the Road as two of the few people left who are not dehumanized by the new apocalyptic society. They do not conform making them different as they try to hold on to the fathers past giving them aspects of atavism, and an outcast for it, these characters usually can not survive in the new society, Neither society is allowed privacy, someone is always looking into their lives whether they are a controlling leader or a cannibal ?? ?? ?? ?? English Literature Coursework Draft Words - 2013 Jessica-Sue Shawcross Mr. Newman
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