Comparative Study - the Help and the Handmaid's Tale

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 59
  • Published : September 2, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
A repressed voice; one that is restricted or restrained from having an opinion or contribution to society. Tate Taylor’s film, The Help and the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, collectively explore this idea of repressed voices by looking at discrimination and language as a tool of power. The comparative study of these two texts has enabled us to explore the impact of a repressed society and hence deepen our understanding of the composer’s contextual concerns.

The Help looks at the depth of a segregated society, with the contextual backdrop of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. Taylor, born in Jackson during the civil rights movement, accurately outlines the consequences of racial injustice and attempts to advocate hope in times of suffering, causing us to question our own society and open up issues of racism and human dignity that are prevalent today.

Conversely, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale looks at a future dystopian setting of a Tolitarian theocracy of the Republic of Gilead, incorporating her feminist beliefs, along with fears of the time in which it was written, the 1980s. It examines the intersection of politics and society, explores the consequences of the reversal of women’s rights and highlights gender inequality by portraying a terrifying and restrictive community which scares us into examining our own society and its morals.

The Help explores the effects of discrimination through the incorporation of racism as a precursor to repression, causing dehumanisation and a disrupted structural society, highlighting the concerns of Taylor’s context. This is emphasized through a recurring motif of frames/ barriers that continuously separate the black race from the white. When Charlotte fires Constantine, she is left outside looking in, framed by the door which acts as a symbol of separation, inequality and discrimination. Further emphasis is created by the harsh, patronising tone Charlotte advocates; “Get out.. leave.. now!”. Her...
tracking img