The Handmaiden's Tale and 1984

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood Pages: 4 (1535 words) Published: June 23, 2013
The Handmaiden's tale and 1984
Tyler Beeching

The government has the righteous duties to be a national defense for its citizens, to act as an administration of justice in providing law and order for its peoples, and to provide certain public goods and services to its people; though in these present epochs, the government fails to provide certain necessities to its citizens. The two books written in a similar century, both George Orwell’s 1984, and Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, display how the government can use violence as a means of control on its people. In 1984, the government controls its citizens’ lives through manipulating the language of Oceania; Syme, who is Winston’s colleague at the Ministry of Truth, was a lexicographer who developed the new dictionary of the Oceanic language: Newspeak. Also, similar in type, in Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the government in Gilead uses policies that regulates and controls its women’s desires for sexual activity; the government acts in such a way, because the government has a procreative agenda in Gilead. To conclude, the government in both these novels uses violence as a means of controlling its citizens.

In 1984, and The Handmaid’s Tale, both the citizens of Oceania and Gilead have their language distorted; this is in order for them to be infringed from certain goods and services. This language alteration is most evident when Syme informs Winston (the main protagonist in 1984) that by 2050, no individual will be able to understand their conversation; this meaning that the government of Oceania wants to control its citizens’ thoughts. This context can be understood when Syme is in a low-ceilinged canteen deep underground, and he refers to the beauty of the government’s means of controlling the local vocabulary, saying “Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a...
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