Synthesis Essay

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Where would we be in a world without education? All three books, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler demonstrate a world in collapse and the importance of education. In Fahrenheit 451, while there seemed to be progression, because of a lack of literature and artistic intelligence, the world was theoretically falling apart whether its inhabitants realized it or not. In The Handmaid’s Tale, as a result of a world crumpling, the right to read was exterminated for women. And lastly, in Parable of the Sower, education was important in a country that was deteriorated and it came to serve as the only source of hope. These novels conclusively demonstrate how important knowledge is similarly through different stories.

In The Handmaid’s Tale, as a man, the Commander is able to read, and this is symbolic of power. The saying that ‘knowledge is power’ is important in this chapter. The ‘word’ symbolises knowledge, and therefore power. Because the Commander is the only one with access to books, he has power over the others. Offred’s perception that the authorities of Gilead make things up; “I knew they made that up, I knew it was wrong, and they left things out too, but there was no way of checking” pg (100) stresses the power of knowledge. That by using words, and knowledge, the authorities are able to change other’s knowledge and therefore manipulate them to do their will. In this book the lack of knowledge represents a class of people that are to be held power over. They sustain this power as well from restricting women from read. When one doesn’t know how to read, one becomes lost in the world. They will not know what’s going on around them therefore free thinking and ideas are not free to develop, thus making control and manipulation over these people complete.

Fahrenheit 451 is a book about people that become disinterested in books of their own free will. It started as a choice, as many...
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