A Comparison of "1984" and "The Handmaiden's Tale"

904 Words4 Pages
Utopias and Dystopias Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood These two novels are dystopian tales about the possible future for the human race. Both have people totally controlled by the society in which they live. Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1948 when the two world wars were still fresh in everybody's minds, also people were well aware of totalitarian states due to publicity about places under dictatorship rule such as Nazi Germany. The Handmaid's Tale was written in 1987 and features a dystopia in which women have had all of their rights removed. Margaret Atwood is a Canadian Feminist writer. The openings to both these novels set the atmosphere that first introduces the reader to the dystopian setting, Orwell begins with a familiar idea for most people, "a bright cold day in April" this type of weather is accustomed with his readers so they immediately find something they can relate to. This is shattered strait away within the same sentence where it says, "the clocks were striking thirteen" suggesting even the system of time is different in this world. The idea of familiarity is followed through with the protagonist's name: Winston Smith, Winston would be familiar to readers in 1948 because of the recent Prime Minister who was considered a war hero, Winston Churchill; and Smith which is possibly the most common surname in England. The name suggests that the protagonist is an ordinary person sharing the surname of so many others, but also has the ring of a hero like Churchill. The weather seems ever so customary to Britain; horrible basically so readers could associate to this also. The smell inside the building is one that readers would recognise, all this familiarity enables people to be able to build up a mental image of how Orwell envisioned this dystopian world to be like, readers could

More about A Comparison of "1984" and "The Handmaiden's Tale"

Open Document