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Word Count: 3,471
By close examination of George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four and E Annie Proulxs The Shipping News compare the ways in which the Orwell and Proulx develop their main characters 1984 as a science fictional dystopia depicts a totalitarian regime that outlaws truth love thought and the concept of the individual controlling its populace with fear brute force and propaganda Orwell presents Winston Smith as the protagonist of the story his desperate attempt to preserve his identity initially leads to great development in character Ultimately however such development is brought to a brutal end as his growing self is replaced by a superficial conformist personality imposed from outside Similarly The Shipping News closely scrutinises its lead characters development in character this internal growth in contrast is far more gradual and moments of great influence are much harder to ascertain Despite this the contrast of the Quoyle from the beginning of the novel and his eventual counterpart is significant From the outset both authors make conscious attempts to allow the reader to grasp the essence of their characters simply from hearing their names This is achieved through identifying characters with names which have obvious or explained connotations In the prologue to the first chapter the term Quoyle is defined in The Ashley Book of Knots as A Flemish flake is a spiral coil of one layer onlyso that it may be walked on if necessary Proulx introduces Quoyle as the human equivalent of a Flemish flake isolated and confused left behind by the hive-like sprawling metropolis that surrounds him Victim of a painful childhood almost psychologically abused Quoyle had to come to terms with his brother and fathers insistence he was inferior Consequently he suffers from low self-esteem and like a coil of rope he finds himself walked on by others This pathetic image of Quoyle is emphasized by the fact that he accepts this treatment and believes it to justify his low opinion
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