Threat is evidently portrayed in both The Handmaids Tale and Frankenstein, although in different forms.

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Compare the ways in which writers of your two chosen texts create a sense of threat. You must relate your discussion to relevant contextual factors.

Threat is evidently portrayed in both ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Frankenstein’, although in different forms. In Atwood’s dystopian novel, threat is caused by the totalitarian regime, Gilead, where powerful men exploit women and their bodies with the justification of religion. Atwood explores the threat of a theocratical regime that disregards science while Shelley warns her readers about the consequences that will follow if science and obsession become a blurred line. Shelley as a romantic, reveals how wary of the Enlightenment era she was, whose key principle was that nature should be controlled by humans. Women are targeted and are the victims of society in both novels. Separation from parental figures alerts the reader and the threat of losing one’s identity is evident both in Handmaid’s Tale and Frankenstein.

The threat of women as the victims of the society is evidently shown in ‘Frankenstein’. From an early age, Victor loses his mother due to the scarlet fever that she caught while nursing Elizabeth. His obsession with science had flourished from the death of his mother and the need he had to find an alternative to death after his horrifying experience. An immediate reflection of Mary Shelley’s thoughts after losing her mother (ten days after she was born) and the premature birth of her first-born. Furthermore, Elizabeth is killed by the Monster Victor had created and could have been avoided by Victor, who instead ignored the Monster. Justine, a servant of the household, is falsely convicted of William’s death and killed, Victor knew the real killer but did not do much to help her. Victor’s inability to take responsibility of his creation that he had “let loose upon the world”, ultimately leads to the deaths of his loved ones starting with his innocent little brother.

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Similarly, women in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ are the victims of Gilead. They are targeted and classified based on their status and past. Women with low status or women that had done anything outside the Bible such as Offred committing an adultery, are assigned as handmaids. Their role is to provide what higher class women cannot, children, which is taken through inhumane ways, rape. Rape is normalised and even the narrator, Offred, is unsure whether Ceremony is in fact rape or not, “nor does rape cover it”, showing the impact Gilead has had over her. Men in power are in an ...

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