Any literary work has its theme, idea and, of course, the main characters which help the writer to develop the major theme of his work and lead to the principal idea. Usually there is a a conflict in the literary work which identifies protagonists and antagonists, good and bad characters. Antagonists are those characters who go against protagonists. There are three types of conflict for the antagonist in the literary work:
”˘ A man (a protagonist) vs. another man (antagonist);
”˘ A man vs. the Nature which is antagonist;
”˘ A man vs. himself, protagonist and antagonist in one person.
Any antagonist in the literary work tries to ruin good and to inflict harm to the protagonist. That is why we can see the fight between the good and the evil.
My goal in this essay is to compare and contrast two antagonists from two literary works. The first one is McCarthy’s book The Road and the second one is Hosseini’s book A Thousand Splendid Suns.
In McCarthy’s novel The Road we can see the protagonists – “the man”ť and “the boy”ť who are “carrying fire”ť and the antagonists ”“ bandits and cannibals who have nothing human. (McCarthy 25) The major conflicts in the novel are represented by the following types:
”˘ A man vs. the nature;
”˘ A man vs. another man.
In the terrible world which is slowly coming to its end with constant firestorms and unsufferable cold and where the cannibals are everywhere, the father and his son are trying to get to the Coast in order to find a better life. There is also a minor conflict between the father and the son. He father thinks only about himself as he wants to survive while the son is ready to help everyone he meets on his way.
The novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini shows the readers experiences and feelings of two Afghan women whose names are Mariam and Laila who suffered greatly in his life and who became friends. They are the protagonists in the literary work. They teach the readers how to fight against the evil. They show the life of women in Muslim country where they have no rights and should obey the only man – their husband. There are two antagonists in the novel: Rasheed and Taliban who not only abused and betrayed their women but also destroyed their country. They live according to the traditions of their ancestors and treat their women like “dirt”ť. (Hosseini,36) They are tyrants. In this novel we can see gender conflict- two women-protagonists vs. two men-antagonists who want to destroy the lives of the main characters. The other conflict in the novel is represented by war actions ”“ Afghanistan war with Soviets and the Civil war which also destroy the lives of civilians: two women vs. the environment.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the antagonists from two literary works discussed in the essay have much in common. All of them are cruel, unjust and powerful. All of them inflict harm to the protagonists who stand for honesty, humaneness and weakness. However, the good always defeats the evil although there may be some victims at the end of the fight.
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. Bloomsbury.
McCarthy Cormaac. The Road. New York: Vintage International. 2006. Print.