"All conflict in literature is, in its simplest form, a struggle between good and evil"

Essay by acousticplywood November 2007

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"All conflict in literature is, in its simplest form, a struggle between good and evil". This statement simplifies the idea that all themes and struggles in literature when broken down to their most basic forms are a conflict of good versus evil. This is a valid statement because good and evil are the basis of all conflict. A conflict is a two-sided and any struggle implies a difference of opinion or emotion which can be broken down into both "good" and "evil" parts. such works that emphasize this statement are George Orwell's novel, "Animal Farm" and the play, "Othello", a tragedy written by William Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare's use of characterization in "Othello" describes the character Othello as a brave, courageous, and honorable soldier. Shakespeare also introduces the complete contrast of Othello in the character Iago. Iago is portrayed as two-faced and manipulation, representing the evil aspect in the play.

Shakespeare uses Iago to take advantage of Othello's trusting personality and to attack Othello's good nature. Othello becomes overridden with hate and jealousy, which consume all of his other emotions. Othello is an example of how a character can cross the line between good and evil. The relationship between Othello's character and Iago's character can be viewed as a battle of the two forces.

"Animal farm" is a modern political novel set in the Twentieth Century. Disliking their owner, the animals of Animal Farm attempt to revolt with the intention of setting up a "perfect" Utopian society for themselves, a society without the evil of humans. With the help of two intelligent pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, the animals were able to defeat their enemy and conquer animal far. Towards the end of the novel, we discover that Snowball and Napoleon are highly influenced by the actions of humans. Years pass on Animal farm and we find that the pigs become more and more like human beings by walking upright, carrying whips, and wearing clothes. In the end, the pigs backfire on their original plan of eliminating humans but instead, joined them.

In conclusion, the struggle of good and evil is a basic struggle that is common in all novels. This common struggle is illustrated in Shakespeare's "Othello" and George Orwell's "Animal Farm" through various themes and characterizations.