Compare and contrast Essay November 7, 2019 by Bnoppi Writer

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Comparative Essay

If individuals in real life and characters in fictional life get trapped in ‘internal’ conflicts, they only have to find ways to extricate from that situation, as the characters in The Crucible and 1984 did. The Crucible written by Arthur Miller deals with the mass hysteria that surrounds witchcraft trials in 1692, focusing on the key figures, who were caught up in the trials. Nineteen Eighty-Four (also titled 1984) written by George Orwell deals with the life of the people during a fictional authoritarian regime in the year 1984. So, this paper will analyze how the characters John Hale in The Crucible and Winston Smith in 1984 due problematic society or settings, get trapped in ‘internal’ conflicts, and how they find ways to escape from it, with or without success

John Hale is the young minister who is known for his knowledge on witchcraft. Hale enters the play and into a ‘setting of problems’, when Reverend Parris asks him to examine the mysterious behavior of his daughter, Betty. In the initial stages of the play, he is the person who sets the witch trials into motion, investigating and finding out who are the culprits and asking them to confess or testify. But, in the course of the play, his drive to convict the accused supposedly involved in witchcrafts slows downs, as many hidden truths and the role of other persons comes into open, leading to the ‘formation’ of conflicts in his mind. That is, when he listens to John Proctor and Mary Warren, he understands that Abigail was not telling the truths, including the reasons behind the children’s death. This creates a feeling in him that he might have trusted the wrong individuals. So, this feeling of guilt and the repercussions of it, traps him in a internal conflict. Likewise, the character of Winston Smith because of the suppression of freedom and self-expression also gets trapped into an internal conflict. Winston Smith is the disillusioned protagonist, who lives in London in the fictional totalitarian state of Oceania, in the year 1984. The reason for his internal conflict (conflict in his mind) comes from being an Outer Party member with restrictions placed everywhere in every thing. He is against the restrictions imposed by the ruling party like the telescreens (which are present everywhere monitoring his apartment all day), prohibition of sex for joy, no opportunities or forums to express one’s feelings etc. Even though, he is the member of the ruling party headed by its leader, Big Brother, he begins to question the party’s validity and rules or principles, because of its suppression of free thought and will. Winston Smith works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, where his job involves falsifying history by removing the original historical happenings, and replacing with ‘happenings’ that will show the Party in a positive and appreciatory light. So, Winston like Hale is not at all happy with the way the society and the individuals in the society exist. Both of them feel that they got trapped into situations willingly or unwillingly and because of that they face internal conflicts. That is, Hale because of the wrong and dubious behavior of the individuals or witnesses, feels guilty and thinks that he should not be part of the prosecution. While Winston, because of the ‘suppressive’ behavior and the ‘history doctoring’ of the ruling party, feels culpable and thinks that he should not be part of this doctoring process and move out of Ministry of Truth.

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