The Comparison of 1984 and V for Vendetta Essay Example
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people”. This saying has been uttered throughout the world as a means of resisting the possibility of a tyrannical government. Despite the collective hatred for tyranny from the inhabitants of the world, the idea of an all controlling government--a dystopia--has been a topic many fictional works have explored. Dystopian governments go through supreme amounts of effort to regulate their population and subdue threats to their power through means such as volumes of propaganda, 24/7 surveillance, and the incarceration of any independence, individuality, and ingenuity insisting on surviving in the thoughts of the populace. Despite these drastic measures, however, there always rises a hero, whether it be because of a loved one’s loss, a tragic accident, or just because they want to fight for their own survival. The hero is someone who fights against the corrupt government, but not all heroes are built the same. While the motive for a hero is extremely important, physical prowess and combat experience is much more prevalent in a fight against a dystopian society.
Winston, the protagonist of 1984 is a normal man with a normal job and has no special advantages. Despite his lack of a trump card he didn’t waver in his bravery when in optimistic situations, such as when he had an affair with Julia, and when he announced his treasury to O’Brien. His disregard of his own safety, while albeit ill-advised, validates the claim that his motivation showed no deficiency. However, true bravery is only confirmed when you are faced in a situation where you are hopeless, when you believe there is no chance of survival and that you are willing to die for your beliefs. The novel continuously builds Winston up as someone who has a huge desire to destroy Big Brother and his government, but when he is faced with the ultimate trial of bravery he succumbs to the enemy and ultimately fails. When tortured with his biggest fear he doesn’t look death in the eye and spit in its face...he instead betrays the love of his life and lets himself be controlled by the morals of the country he once hated.
On the other hand enters V from V for Vendetta. The masked crusader shared many similarities to Winston in not only his desire to destroy his government and also his love life. The main difference between the two was that while Winston failed, V succeeded in his effort to rebel. V was aware that real courage was only revealed in dire situations, which is why he tortures Evey though waterboarding and interrogation. Although V physically died, Winston was a broken shell of his former self, due to his failures he will remain lost and forgotten in history as just another man, a fate worse than death. V succeeds in his death in contrast to Winston’s failure while living. V was able to succeed mostly in part to his incredible strength and fighting prowess which allowed him to easily defeat Creedy and his men. While both protagonists shared equal levels of motivation, V was able to succeed where Winston is not due to his physical advantages.
Combat experience is also just as important as physical superiority, as shown in The Hunger Games. The book focused tremendously on the advantages richer districts receive, such as training and better nutrition. These assets allow the representatives districts 1 and 2 to be faster, and stronger than the weaker districts such as 12. The dominance of districts 1 and 2 is displayed when it is revealed that most of the hunger games are won by those districts. This physical supremacy is short lived however, as Katniss, the protagonist, is able to outsmart and defeat the districts and later the leader of her dystopian government with her experience and skill with the bow and arrow. Despite her not being nearly as fast or strong he is able to survive because fighting experience outweighs the need for a pure physical advantage. Had Winston trained in martial arts and obtained the skills and discaplien to survive his capture and torture, he would have avoided his dehumanization and lived on to fight another day.
Winston’s inability to defeat the dystopian government which controlled his life can be attributed to his lack of experience and physical advantages. If Winston had the skills of Katniss and the Power of V, it is likely that he could have raised more support for his fight against the government and Big Brother. This new wave of support was shown when V incites a rebellion against Adam Susan and the Norsefire party, as well as when Katniss unites the lower districts in a war against the capital of the corrupt government which plagued her life. Had Winston garnered support, such as the men who engaged in activities with Julia, Winston would have been able to lead a large scale revolution against the government, freeing the population from the grasps of Big Brother. This however, is only speculation as Winston ultimately could not achieve his goals despite his aspirations. No matter how heroic your motivation is if you are just a normal person there is little you can do.