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Orwells 1984 and Atwoods The Handmaids Tale are both novels that can easily be seen to be set in dystopian societies Oceania and Gilead in which the individuals are suppressed and relationships are carefully kept under control The similarities between the two novels are visibly apparent and will be discussed It could be said that the writers have created dystopian societies to protest against political movements in their own society or own world They can be seen as a warning to future generations showing how higher powers such as Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four could attempt to control its citizens However as with all suppressive states both novels touch heavily on the subject of the natural instinct of mankind to express free will and some level of independence The novels were written in completely different times Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four during the cold war period completing the novel in 1948 He clearly warns of the dangers of a totalitarian state which could be seen reflected in Russian and East German societies at the time of Orwells writing Many utopian novels can be seen as political tools to help raise awareness of a certain problem the author believes to be apparent or may become apparent in the not-to-distant future Both Atwoods The Handmaids Tale and Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four fit into this category Atwoods The Handmaids Tale reacts against religious fundamentalism and sexist views Atwood grew up in a very feminist society with abortion being legalised and more womens rights However while the western world was giving women equal rights the Islamic world was becoming more oppressive hence Atwood believed a warning tool was needed The novel could be said to be an act of rebellion in itself against these societies Each novel equally focuses on the individual as the protagonists story is the one being told whether it is through first hand narrative such as in The Handmaids Tale or through the third person narrative
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