Handmaids Tale and 1984

2089 WordsFeb 18, 20169 Pages
How far is language a tool of oppression in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’? Most dystopian novels contain themes of corruption and oppression, therefore in both ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ language is obviously used as a form of the states control, enabling dystopian leaders to remain in power by manipulating language to restrict free thought. Orwell and Atwood have utilized language as a key tool of oppression throughout their novels. The use of language is mostly repressive, language can also be seen as liberating, and used as an act of rebellion, which the state wishes to eliminate. The novel Nineteen Eighty Four contains a world in which language is being systematically corrupted. The…show more content…
The Ministry of peace “concerned itself with war”, The Ministry of Truth dedicated itself to destroying the truth and The Ministry of Love was described as “frightening” with “gorilla faced guards." This brings forth the idea that the state are trying to subtly manipulate society however they are a threat. In addition the face of the party ‘Big Brother’ is extremely ironic as Orwell uses this as a tactic to make you feel reassured. This is because the word 'Big Brother' is an example of a double entendre as a big brother is commonly associated with protection, care and love which is the extreme opposite in this case as "the party seeks power...for its own sake" conveying the irony further as it is not what it seems at first glance. The constant motif of ‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” exemplifies the idea they will always try to control you, and they have great power. The fact that Orwell chose these names is a reflection of the Party's of the brainwashing of their society and the desire for control over the people. It is a warning as it emphasises the abusive nature of dictators, as they use psychological manipulation as a means of control. The use of names in Nineteen Eighty-Four presents a false sense of security and desirability to citizens, as it makes the state appear friendly and trust worthy regardless of their demeaning acts. The slogan of the
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