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

In what ways are 'The Handmaids Tale' and 'Nineteen Eighty-four' Warnings to the societies in which they were written?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Luke Hopson Coursework Essay In what ways are 'The Handmaids Tale' and 'Nineteen Eighty-four' Warnings to the societies in which they were written? The first warning I noticed was the loss of freedom and rights in both novels. For example in '1984' Winston Smith is always surrounded by 'telescreens' watching his every move and fears the day the 'thought police' will come knocking on his door. Children were hired as spies and would report straight to the 'thought police' if they sensed anything untoward. The Parsons children who lived next door to Winston even reported their father for saying 'God' in his sleep. This has strong links with a regime in Nazi Germany called 'Hitler Youth' where the same sort of thing would go on. It is warning the societies about how they will be dictated and isolated, not able to do anything without being watched. Likewise in Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaids Tale' freedom is restricted. This fact is proven with a quote from the novel that reads "Freedom to and freedom from." It was then made clear by Atwood that in the days of when the book was written it was 'freedom to', whereas in the society of Gilead it had become 'freedom from'. ...read more.

Middle

Despite all this manipulation of history in the novels, there are also contrasting elements. For instance in the 'Handmaids Tale', the Handmaids' life style, morals and clothing is very similar to that of the Puritans, a Catholic group from the 17th century who had strong beliefs and strict rules. This talk of Religion leads me nicely on to how Religion is used as a Warning in the novels. In 'The Handmaids Tale', Religion or more specifically the Bible is taken far to seriously and literally. For instance they base their whole rules and regulations around the story of Rachael and Jacob in the Old Testament (Genesis 30 v1-3). Ironically the Bible later contradicts itself later on, but they stick solely to that single section and read it before every ceremony. Atwood also uses quotes such as "God is a Natural Resource" to shed light on the fact that religion is over rated and taken over seriously. This is definite warning to the society of the time and for generations to come. For instance this has strong links with Religious Fundamentalism that existed and still exists in some parts of America today. The idea of religious importance however, is not evident in Orwell's novel, as like a lot of things in '1984' it no longer exists. ...read more.

Conclusion

The same however can not be said for Atwoods novel, where feminism plays a key part. The novel even admits, "middle class women have become complacent". This is probably because they have given up, considering the harsh treatment they receive. Offreds mother warns of the dangers of this complacency when she tells her daughter, "History will absolve me". Its not only the Handmaids who get downtrodden. The wives are also much lower down the hierarchy ladder, with the Commander being the head of the household. The wives' function is to be married to the Commander and bring up the children; the house is their domain. George Orwell's main warning is written in the title of the novel, '1984'. The novel was written in 1948, which made me notice that Orwell has simply reversed the year. This title indicates a warning in itself as it suggests the frightening things that could happen just 36 years down the line, if the society carried on the way it was going. Atwood on the other hand has given her own views in an interview, since the novel was written. She said that 'The Handmaids Tale' is "a slight twist on the society we have now", which sums up exactly what her feelings and intentions were in writing the novel. To warn the society of the time. ...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)

    of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world. When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference.

  2. Comparison of Offred and Winston in 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale

    The constant comparison of humans to animals throughout the novels is initiated in the openings, alluding to zoos as though the people of Oceania and Gilead are observed in cages. However, according to one Holocaust survivor of extremist 20th century politics under the Nazis, his recipe for survival arose: "Precisely

  1. Analyse the character of Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four. How is he portrayed as ...

    The rule of the Party is for ever. Make that the starting point of you thoughts." Apart from his thoughtful nature, Winston's main attribute was his rebelliousness. Winston hates the Party passionately and wants to test the limits of its power; he commits innumerable crimes throughout the novel, ranging from

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

    The demands of the totalitarian states are the very reason for the act of secretive defiance from both Offred and Winston. The desperation of both characters is to be free from such requirements. It is in fact the demands of the totalitarian states that motivate both protagonists to carry out such actions.

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

    to secretly getting himself into the anti party brotherhood. The effert winston puts into his atempt at feedom ultimatly underscores the the partys devstating power. And By the end of the novel winsto is a loyal servent to big brother.

  2. 1984 by George Orwell - summary

    Winston read the first 3 chapters to Julia, then she had fallen asleep. He didn't read the whole book but he could see what the message was. Julia has hope that the proles will defeat Big Brother, and that they will be part of the movement that will one day overthrow the oppressors.

  1. 1984 summary 1

    - They actually have the physical strength to overthrow the Party, but they are preoccupied with the hard lives they lead and with the distractions which the state offers them (i.e. gambling on lottery) - He again reflects on the impossibility facing even an educated person like himself in learning what life was like before the Revolution.

  2. Is George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four a grim prediction of the future

    Display your disgust and exhibit your independence, Wear a "Big Brother Is Watching" tee-shirt. $10, Canadians remit us dollars. Big Brother is Watching LTD.

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