The Handmaid’s Tale-Dystopian Literary Tradition
Dystopia is defined as being a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. Dystopian is also considered to be about futuristic societies that have degraded into repressed and controlled states. Dystopian literature uses cautionary tones warning us that if we continue to live the way we do, this can be the consequence. A Dystopia is contrary of a utopia (a world where everything is perfect) and often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. Dystopias usually feature different kinds of oppressive, socially controlled systems and a lack of or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions, and in incessant state of warfare and violence (Utopia and Dystopia.) These types of novels can also explore the notion of humans abusing technology, and how humans individually cope with technology that may have evolved too quickly. A dystopian society can also often be characterized by poverty and brutal political controls. The Handmaids Tale is described as being part of the Dystopian Literary Tradition. This is an accurate descriptor of this work because the novel follows all the criteria required to be considered Dystopian in nature. While reading the Handmaid’s Tale, you will notice the criteria needed to be considered dystopian. Some examples of criteria that can be found in the novel are as follows: totalitarian control, dehumanization, theocratic government, and (in this case) misogyny. In the Republic of Gilead, there is complete control over women and most of their rights are restricted. The same rights women have fought to gain for over many years. Simple things that the modern woman would more than likely take for granted. Things such as reading, a marital status, an education, dating, driving, wearing makeup, choosing your own clothing and much more. This dystopian tale is frightening because the logic of how the society became...
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