To What Extent Can “the Handmaid’s Tale” and “the Scarlet Letter” Be Described as Works of Dystopian Fiction?
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To What Extent Can “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Scarlet Letter” be Described as Works of Dystopian Fiction?
The definition of Dystopia is an imaginary place where the inhabitants are exploited and control is maintained through oppression. Both “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” reflect characteristics of a dystopian novel. A dystopian novel is usually fictional and futuristic to the time in which it was written. The characters are made to worship a concept or figure as a way of control. Characters are subject to an irrational fear of what is outside their environment and the issues raised in the novel are commentaries on contemporary society at the time.
Dystopian fiction depicts characters that live in a dystopian society,…show more content… Deuteronomy 22:23-29.” The “particicution” of these violent acts remind the Handmaids of what will happen to them if they break the rules. “I’ve leaned forward to touch the rope in front of me, in time with the others, both hands on it... I have seen the kicking feet and the two in black seize hold of them and drag downwards with all their weight.” There is also the "threat of the colonies": “I saw your mother… it was in that film they showed us, about the Colonies. … Thank God, I said… I thought she was dead….She might as well be, said Moira. You should wish it for her.” The Gileadian society attempts to brain wash the Handmaid’s into thinking that the outside world is more violent and unsafe in order to stop them from attempting escape, yet they also procure harsh punishments to maintain order. Both societies provoke irrational fear in their inhabitants in order to maintain control and stop people from attempting to leave, further exemplifying that they are dystopian civilisations.
A dystopian novel raises issues and fears of the society in which it was written. In an interview regarding “The Handmaid’s Tale” Margaret Atwood said; “there isn’t anything in the book not based on