Reading Lolita In Tehran And The Handmaid's Tale : Analysis

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Freedom and liberty hold significant values that many individuals struggle to obtain in their lives, as several obstacles block their way from achieving it. In the novels Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, (1) gender, (2) religion, and (3) government all depicted barriers that prevented one from attaining free will. Nonetheless, through resistance and rebellion, specific obstacles surrendered to the individuals who fought it, thus allowing humans to have access to their own identity and basic rights.
First, gender, specifically identifying as a female, suppressed and brought about many hardships and struggles to the women in their society. In The Handmaid’s Tale, reading became restricted
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Still, that did not let Offred fall under such oppression. Similarly, in Reading Lolita in Tehran, women living in this Islamic society ruled by Ayatollah Khomeini could not express enthusiasm or style. Simply living your life the way you want was an offense. Nafissi recalls a moment when one girl was taken to the principal's office because “her nails were too long” (Nafisi 58). Something as small as having long nails held immoral standards by society and, if caught with, would only lead to trouble. There’s nothing wrong with having long nails and yet girls end up punished if they have them not just because it’s perceived as unethical in their society, but also because what are they? Women. Women chained and broken, constantly living their life oppressed, controlled and degraded by men who arrogantly felt superior towards them. They would find wrong in anything they’ve done just to push them to a corner and leave them helpless and trapped. Nafisi however, did not stand for this as she continued to quietly fight against the cultural norms and traditional gender roles in hopes of attaining freedom. Nafisi, along with many other women painted their nails bright colors and dressed in gaudy shirts under their long, black dress to protest against the sexist and unjust laws. They may be oppressed, but that did not stop them from seeking freedom. The women in both novels have gone through similar

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