• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

George Orwell and Margaret Atwood

Extracts from this document...


Christopher Heal Mr Champion English Literature Yr13 December 10, 2004 George Orwell and Margaret Atwood are two writers famous for their politically themed books. Atwood is famous for her feminist views and Atwood for his political satires. In Orwell's 1984 and Attwood's The Hand Maid's Tale both authors use the theme of control as one of the main ideas. These ideas which run throughout the books help the reader learn about how the governments of these dystopiain societies keep and gain control over it's population. One of the main aspects of control that both authors highlight is that of communication. In 1984, communication is controlled through the Party's domination of language and all media outlets. The newspapers, TV and radio stations are all controlled by INGSOC. By owning and controlling the entire media the Party can expose the population to its intense use of propaganda. This use of propaganda influences the Party member's ideas. The Party uses the TV to report news of its wars. It also changes the paper's and TV reports to match what they want its members to think. They change facts placed in newspaper to match with what they are saying currently "copies which have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing its original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it." This shows clear evidence of the Party's control of the media and facts here. However the most important consequence of all this manipulation and control of the past is mainly that history is completely modified. For example, in 1984, Winston relays to the reader that the Party broadcasts that Oceania is at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. ...read more.


By using slogans the Party has gained even more control over it's members and in the book it is near completion of overall domination. In Handmaid's Tale the fanatical leaders of Gilead have also created a new language like The Party have in 1984. The language in Gilead warps reality in order to serve the needs of the new society's leaders. Women are given titles according to their newly created roles, Handmaids, Wives or Martha's. By creating this knew title the government control's there individuality. Deformed babies and feminist are now called "unwomen" and "Unbabies". Greetings have now changed and new phrases created. Failure to use these new greeting can cause suspicion of unloyalty. By controlling thier names and aspects of language, Gilead can maintain it's control over women and their bodies. By using a new language both Atwood and Orwell are exploring the link between the perversion of language and a government's repression. Handmaids are not also allowed to read and write in Gileadian society. Shop names are shown through symbols. Talking between a group of more than three is also strictly forbidden. Communication between one another is also highly dangerous as they have to monitor what they say as in 1984 no one can be trusted so not only do the population monitor what they say they also monitor what each other say out of fear. This can be shown through Offred when the new Ofglen Handmaid arrives. Offred does not know how to act around her as she does not know how devoted to the Gilead cause she is. ...read more.


The handmaids have a structured timetable just like Winston does in 1984. This allows the governments to know who is doing and when they are doing it. Just like in 1984 the Handmaids have a lack of freedom of movement. They are closely monitored by the angels and like in Orwell's book if they become suspects of not complying to the regime they will be killed. The two governments of Oceania and Gilead both use different forms of control to stay in power. 1984 appears to be the most successful at its method of using control to keep in power. By rewriting the having people follow the same routines, dress the same and use the same language it makes everyone one kind of person. This one person is easier to control as everybody is the same. In Gilead however there are lots of different groups who all think different and have different roles. It is harder to control the people of Gilead for this reason. Both totalitarianism governments use propaganda as the main point of trying to stay in control. They paint a picture of themselves that they know the people will like and be more likely to follow and it appears to work in both novels especially 1984 where people just accept any changes that happen and seem to forget anything they have been told that contradicts it. Overall both societies, in both books, achieve a dystopian totalinarism state where theyhave complete control but they achieve this in different ways. In 1984, Big Brother has made everyone the same as in Atwood's book people are split up into a hierarchy. Orwell removes individuality completely. It is due to this that 1984 is more successful in it's quest for total control. 2,782 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 1984 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE 1984 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How is Orwell's attitude towards totalitarianism personified through the characters of Winston and O'Brian ...

    4 star(s)

    Eighty-Four (1949), a dystopian novel setting forth his fears of an intrusively bureaucratised state of the future. Nineteen Eighty-Four will forever be remembered for its prophetic warning of a totalitarian society in which individuality is stripped away. In a desperate attempt to pierce through the invincible, omnipotent, omni-present Big Brother,

  2. In the handmaids tale and 1984, compare their use of the dystopian genre.

    In george orwells 1984, he has constructed a dystopian world in which every individual can be monitoed. There thoughts and actions can be controled by the government. 1984 is said to be one of orwells best crafted novels as it gives an incredibly powerful warning against the dangers of a toterian society.

  1. "Compare the ways in which each author uses language and structure in their dystopian views of ...

    In part two Winston's love for Julia develops and his partaking in the resistance against Big Brother increases. Winston explores new emotions of love, however, we sense their failure through capture, as other party members must notice the rebellion. Part three is Winston's punishment from his capture, where he receives a broken spirit.

  2. 1984 by George Orwell - summary

    I think that the Party did not allow eroticism because sex is a sybol of love and the only thing you are suppose to feel love towards is the party and not anyone else. Winston writes in his diary "If there is hope, it lies in the proles."

  1. Compare the Relationship and Characters of Winston and O'Brien

    Finally O'Brien has reached through into his soul and Winston is truly defeated. The book ends with Winston drinking coffee in a bar where Traitors live out their days before execution.

  2. Comparing Texts: 'Nineteen Eighty Four' & 'The Handmaid's Tale' How do Orwell and Atwood ...

    free; she is still able to sit, and conceal herself in reveries of the past, without the constant worrying of the infiltration of her mind; 'But the night is my time out. Where should I go? Somewhere good.' (Pg47) You can see the extent of her freedom in this quote,

  1. What aspects of George Orwell’s ‘1984’do you find disturbing?

    The city was constantly bombarded by airborne missiles, which killed hundreds at a time. Within the book, it is described how during one of these "attacks" a bomb was dropped onto a playground with "several dozen children being blown to pieces".

  2. Party control of Oceania - 1984 Part One

    The mysterious Party figure of Big Brother is constantly used in propaganda, his face is everywhere on posters, and the Party slogan "Big Brother is watching you" shows how the people are scrutinised. The people almost seem to worship Big Brother, again proving the immense control the Party has.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work