Comparison between 'The handmaids Tale' and '1894' (language as controlling force, language styles, structure and contexts'

3493 WordsDec 3, 200414 Pages
Both the novels '1984' and 'The Handmaids Tale' provide warnings of how each author sees certain problems in society leading to dystopian states. Dystopian genres exist in both novels, but arise for different reasons. Resulting from Atwood's concerns about political groups and aspects of feminism; 'The Handmaids Tale' illustrates how declining birth rates could lead to a state where women are forced into bearing children. In contrast, '1984' depicts a terror state where poverty is rife and tyrannical leaders force citizens to live by their rules. Although both novels share such themes as surveillance, deprivation and loss of identity, they describe two very different dystopian worlds, often by using identical literary techniques but also…show more content…
There is no destruction of antonyms, comparatives or superlatives in 'The Handmaid's Tale', as Gilead powers are not eradicating aspects of language, merely preventing people from speaking them, by enforced use of religious discourse. Atwood does, however, use prefixes to describe certain things, indicating state control. Words such as "unwomen" and "unbaby" denote failure. If a handmaid's child is branded, "unbaby", it shows failure to produce healthy offspring. Handmaids wish to produce healthy children, preventing transportation to the colonies. These prefixes therefore scare them into conforming, and trying to produce children as the authorities wish. In both '1984' and 'The Handmaid's Tale', connotations are used to re-define the states' powers. Big Brother and Aunts suggest protective figures which protect society; however connotations have been re-defined, neither figure having the security of the people in mind. These names, however, result in people believing themselves safe under their rulers, having been manipulated in many ways to produce this misconception. We are able to see that language in both the texts maintain the dystopian societies. However as well as authoritarian manipulation of language, the dystopian genre is created through the authors styles of writing. The styles of Both Atwood and Orwell differ, Orwell tending to a blunt style with few metaphors, described as

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