Love Against Government in 1984 and Les Misérables Comparative Research Paper

Love Against Government in 1984 and Les Misérables
Comparative Research Paper

Fernando A. Morales

Mrs. Ayala
English 10E
28 April 2014
The novel 1984, by George Orwell, and the novel Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo, both deal with the treatment of love giving characters a purpose in life. Love can be considered the fundamental emotion of the human experience, and it can be as essential as basic physical needs. In both works, the authors show love being endangered, narrowed, and shattered by the government’s decisions, whether done directly or indirectly by any means. They suggest that without love, a person can be destroyed from the inside out, leaving an empty corpse. Evidence supporting this is shown in both stories through the following: atmosphere depicting fear and hate being imposed on society by the government, progression of situations where the government’s actions limit a character’s ability to act in a loving way and lead to the destruction of love, and figurative language portraying how love gives purpose to a character’s life.
In both novels, one can connect the government’s decisions as the cause with an atmosphere of hate and fear as the effect. In Les Misérables, former convicts such as the protagonist Jean Valjean are given a yellow passport once they’re released from. As a result, people like Jean Valjean are feared and discriminated by society: “When I reached this place this evening I went to an inn, and they sent me away on account of a yellow passport, which I had shown at the mayor’s office, as was necessary. I went to another inn and they said: ‘Get Out!’ It was the same with one as with another; nobody would have me in. I went to the prison, and the turnkey would not let me in. I crept into a dog-kennel, the dog bit me, and drove me away…” (Hugo 16). The government’s use of the system involving yellow passports limits a convict’s way of life even after being released. It’s fair to say that a connection can be made between the...