Utopian and obstacles in their intentions of
Utopian literature reflects a “better place or time, a portrait of a happy society” (Claeys 15). However, the dark side “related to the turning of utopia towards the future,” (Claeys 15) known as dystopia, exists in literature as well. Similarly, dystopian universes are portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. By conforming citizens to uniform expectations and corruption of power, dystopian atmospheres are established within the novels. Due to this, characters are unsuccessful in escaping their hellish worlds and instead accept their predetermined fates and identities. Although, some might believe that characters embrace governmental controls within their dystopian societies because they’re brainwashed, in reality, they endure such controls due to their secret affairs, which cause distractions and obstacles in their intentions of defying higher authorities. “The course of true love never did run smooth.
” These words from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream perfectly portray how the love relationships in Never Let Me Go and 1984 result in several difficulties and lead to loss in motive. In 1984, Winston Smith’s love-interest Julia has a negative impact on him and makes him astray from his intentions of overthrowing Big Brother’s dystopian society. Whereas in Never Let Me Go, Kathy H.’s attraction to Tommy negatively influences her by causing her to passively accept her fate as a clone. The relationships’ effects on the goals of the protagonists, are seen throughout both novels. The first time Winston met Julia, his feelings towards her were not of love but lust.
Yet, later he claims that “during the month he had known her the nature of his desire for her had changed” (Orwell 139). In the beginning of their relationship, the “smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin,” (Orwell 139) gave Winston feelings of desire, but after continuous interaction with her he admits that when she gives the “tips of his fingers a quick squeeze… it seemed to invite not desire but affection” (Owell 139). This change in Winston’s feelings towards Julia, signifies not only a physical attachment but an internal one as well. However, as his love towards Julia deepens in the novel, he begins to lose sight of rebelling against Big Brother. For example, when Winston and Julia are taken to the Ministry of love, Winston questions O’brien and asks him “what have you done with Julia?” (Orwell 259), to which O’brien responds with “she betrayed you, Winston. Immediately-unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone come over to us so promptly.
You would hardly recognize her if you saw her” (Orwell 259). Julia’s act of betrayal towards Winston, leaves him hopeless. This hinders his goal of liberating himself from O’brien’s torture and the controls placed by Big Brother, because he’s shocked by the fact that Julia, the girl he loved so much, broke his trust and betrayed him. Due to this, his concerns about his own sanity and physical well-being are diminished. Earlier in the novel, Winston recalls the “sensation of having slept for a long time,” (Orwell 218) after he had just awakened from spending the night with Julia in the secret room above Mr.
Charrington’s shop. A few moments later, Winston and Julia were told that they were under Party surveillance, so “they could do nothing except stand gazing into one another’s eyes. To run for life, to get out of the house before it was too late — no such thought occurred to them” (Orwell 221). This depicts how the relationship he has with Julia, serves as an obstacle against his fight with Big Brother and the Party. If Winston wasn’t constantly in Julia’s company, he wouldn’t have been caught by the Party. Instead, he would’ve been more careful and wouldn’t have trusted Mr. Charrington so easily either.
Moreover, when Winston can’t bear O’brien’s torture any longer, he starts to yell “Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones! Not me! Julia! Not me!” (Orwell ??? ). This portrays the weakness within Winston, he can no longer withstand Julia’s betrayal and does the same to her. By doing so, he gives into Big Brother and becomes content to live in the dystopian society he despised so much. Thus, Julia proves to be Winston’s weakness and contributes to his defeat against Big Brother. Perhaps, if Winston had never associated or fallen in love with Julia, he would’ve never lost hope in himself or established immense trust in someone else. It is the trust and Winston’s love towards Julia, that destroys him in the end and leaves him to accept whatever Big Brother wants him to believe. Instead of wasting his time and energy maintaining a relationship with Julia, he could’ve spent that time strategizing against the Inner party, Outer party, and the proles.
Due to their love affair, Winston’s struggle against the totalitarian government is left utterly hopeless. Similarly, in Never Let Me Go Kathy H.’s obsession with Tommy, is an obstacle in her fight against becoming the clone she’s destined to be. This is displayed when Kathy and Ruth begin talking about Tommy, and tensions arise in the discussion which cause Kathy to make a hasty decision. The conversation begins by Ruth mentioning how her “and Tommy,..
.might not be a couple forever,” (Ishiguro 236) because they aren’t perfect and later transitions to her thoughts about a relationship between Kathy and Tommy. Ruth states how it would be normal of Kathy to think about what would happen if Tommy and Ruth broke up, but tells Kathy “that Tommy doesn’t see you like that….you know, a proper girlfriend….Tommy doesn’t like girls who’ve been with… well, you know, with this person and that” (Ishiguro 237). Although, Ruth apologizes to Kathy and later mentions that what she’s “got to understand, though, is that he thinks the world of you.
He really does,” (Ishiguro 237) Kathy thanks Ruth for her honesty and remains silent.,but it is obvious that she takes her comments to heart. To channel her anger in another direction, shortly, Kathy makes a rushed life-changing decisions. She asserts that “I just got up one morning and told Keffers I wanted to start my training to become a carer…I was now one of the ones leaving, and soon enough, everyone knew it,” (Ishiguro 239) and that she kept distance from Ruth and Tommy. This portrays how Tommy is the reason for Kathy’s decision of becoming a carer, because she can’t handle the thought of not being with him.
It is the attraction and love she feels towards Tommy, that causes her to think about “the Cottages, everybody there… in a different light” (Ishiguro 239). Moreover, after Kathy hears Ruth’s thoughts about what Tommy thinks of her, she loses hope in ever starting a relationship with him because she’s torn by the fact that he’d never see her as a perfect girlfriend. It is her tarnished dream of being with Tommy, that eventually forces her to live the rest of her life as she’s supposed to so she, like the others, can reach completion. Later in the novel, after Kathy learns that “Tommy had completed,” (Ishiguro 335) she doesn’t even bother to think about ways to resist becoming a donor. Instead she imagines “a tiny figure… appearing on the horizon across the field,..
gradually getting larger until she’d see it was Tommy, and he’d wave, maybe even call” (Ishiguro 336). This depicts that after learning about Tommy’s death, Kathy is only hoping of seeing him again, maybe in the afterlife. Without Tommy’s presence, she doesn’t feel the need to continue being a carer or delay her process of becoming a donor, so instead she convinces herself that she’ll have a “quieter life, in whichever centre they send” (Ishiguro 335) her to. Her relationship with Tommy, also places a distraction upon Kathy’s life as a carer because she states how she’s constantly “driving with someone else entirely on my mind” (Ishiguro 335). Which clearly indicates that her thoughts are constantly on the memories of Tommy, instead of her thinking about ways to escape becoming a clone or donor. Perhaps, if Kathy wasn’t so emotionally attached to Tommy, she could’ve resisted to becoming a donor and denied her pre-determined fate. Due to Tommy’s presence in her life, Kathy becomes prone to making hasty decisions and doesn’t think as carefully as she should.
After Tommy’s completion, Kathy could’ve continued to rebel against Hailsham’s controls, but she didn’t. Which portrays how Tommy had such a negative impact on her, because without him in her life she lost the hope and will to continue with her life. Furthermore, she had no regrets of becoming a donor, losing her memories, and sense of identity. Overall, in both novels, relationships with love and trust are in hindrance in the fight against governmental authorities. Due to significant others, characters become distracted and lose their aspiration or motives in life. Throughout the novels, as relationships deepen, love eventually becomes blindness and prevents characters from leading their lives as they originally intended to. Although, Winston and Kathy may acquire emotional or physical satisfaction from Julia and Tommy, their presence only enhances their path towards self-destruction.
Perhaps if Winston and Kathy never fell in love, they could’ve been more cautious and avoided defeat against higher authorities. However, their emotional attachment towards their partners prevents them from escaping their dystopian societies, and instead leaves them trapped in a pool of despair. Furthermore, with the detrimental affairs displayed in both novels, it is obvious that characters embrace governmental controls within their universe for the sake of love.