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Giving voices to suppressed groups or individuals is recognized as a preoccupation of contemporary writing. Discuss contemporary works which you have studied with this preoccupation in view

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Introduction

Giving voices to suppressed groups or individuals is recognized as a preoccupation of contemporary writing. Discuss contemporary works which you have studied with this preoccupation in view; say how successful the attempt is and how you respond to it in each case. Two transcendental novels set in different countries first written in two dissimilar languages, yet both depicted the oppression of individuals as a preoccupation of contemporary writing. In Margaret Atwood's superlative novel The Handmaid's Tale the protagonist is confined in the puritanical system of the rigid Republic of Gilead. In contrast, Tita from the periodical novel Like Water for Chocolate is restrained by her tyrannical mother's pronouncement to conform to tradition. One of the social concerns dealt with in Laura Esquivel's novel was the restriction of marriage of women if born the youngest daughter of the family. In Like Water for Chocolate, the protagonist, in falling in love with Pedro and born as the youngest child of the De La Garza family, was destined to live a miserable life. ...read more.

Middle

It is evident that Esquivel intended to emphasis Tita's resentment through the deployment of the repeated 'I hate you' and the punctuation: '!'. Likewise in The Handmaid's Tale, the hypocritical Gileadian government officials inhibited individuality and enforced conformity upon the handmaids. 'Gilead provided its women with freedom from the unpleasant nature of Western society but at the same time it has taken away all their rights'.4 This society was based on the fundamentals of the Bible where religious and sexual violations were punished heavily. Women in the novel were classified according to their specific functions - Wives, Handmaids, Marthas, Econowives, Aunts. Women became mere breeding objects 'identical, replaceable, silent objects'5 to help Gilead's quest in achieving higher birth rates. Offred's flashbacks played an important role in expressing the theme of loss, in which all her recollections were buries, including her freedom to love. In the beginning of the novel, Offred was portrayed as a blank figure with no identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Offred resisted Gilead inwardly; once an attempt to escape from the regime failed she resigned to fate. Though the two novels were very different in terms of time and setting, both Like Water for Chocolate and The Handmaid's Tale demonstrated giving voice to oppressed individuals or groups through the apt vehicle of structure and time sequence. Esquivel verified that tradition still played an important role in the general Mexican society and the impact it has on those affected- Tita. The Canadian author, Atwood, used this novel as predictions of the future if its warning were ignored. Word count: 885 1 A interview with Laura Esquivel, SALON MAGAZINE 2 Like Water for Chocolate, LAURA ESQUIVEL. (pg 39) 3 Like Water for Chocolate, LAURA ESQUIVEL. (pg 180) 4 Unknown secondary source titled Freedom and Resistance 5 Unknown secondary source titled Patriarchy 6 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 59) 7 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 281) 8 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 122) 9 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 31) 10 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 60) 11 The Handmaid's Tale, MAGARET ATWOOD. (pg 186) - 1 - ...read more.

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