Utopian Societies

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Fahrenheit vs. Handmaid Utopian societies are in constant struggle to find perfection in everyday life. In Fahrenheit 451 and The Handmaid’s Tale, each protagonist is struggling with fitting into these boundaries of perfection. When inquisitive minds emerge in a society that strives to be so pure, it can become dangerous not only physically but also emotionally. Although these societies strive for a utopia thinking that it will allow them to reach perfection, it in fact ends in hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is seen in both Fahrenheit 451 and The Handmaid’s Tale through Captain Beatty and the power of books, the government taking Offred’s daughter, and both societies basing their beliefs off of fiction. In Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty, a leader and someone to whom the firefighters look up to, has read and made up his own mind about books but will not allow anyone else to read the books which he knows hold so much power. By denying the people to read the books that he himself has read, Beatty is the epitome of a hypocrite. When speaking about the books it is obvious that Beatty understands the great power these books yield, but he refuses to let that power out. This is hypocritical because Beatty tells Montag that the books "say nothing!... You can teach or believe" (Bradbury 59) and yet he still believes that these books have to have enough power that the world must be rid of them. Although Beatty preaches the uselessness of books, he has dedicated his life to burning them all, an admittance in itself that the books hold enough power to change the ideals of the society in which they live. In The Handmaid 's Tale Offred is accused of being an "unfit" (Atwood 39) mother for her daughter because of her past. Offred met her husband through being his mistress, but waited until marriage to have a child. The government uses their affair against them, convincing Offred that because the bible says that adultery is a sin that she is not fit to be a mother. To


Citations: Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid 's Tale. New York: Anchor, 1986. Print. Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1951. Print.

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