A Comparison of The Handmaid's Tale and Anthem


Length: 802 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



A Comparison of The Handmaid's Tale and Anthem

 

      The two novels, The Handmaid's Tale and Anthem, are both haunting, first

person tales of personal hardship in a closed and controlled society.  In this

essay I will point out similarities and differences between the

two books.  There are similarities in the setting of each work, and the between the two societies in

which the stories take place, as well as more important differences between the

main characters.

 

      To start I would like to compare the settings of the two books.  In

Anthem the story takes place sometime in the future after some catastrophic

event.  Apparently society as we know it was destroyed and the leaders that were

left decided that the problem was the individual, that all men are equal in all

things and that anything that is created by one person is evil. This train of

thought is carried to such and extreme that the very word "I" is removed from

their vocabulary.  An example of this is found when the main character,

Equality-1329, re-invents the electric light.  He shows his invention to the

scientist and although this invention could improve the quality of life of the

people it is deemed "evil" because he worked on his project alone.  The society

in this book is also strict and authoritarian to the point of dictating what

your job will be, to whom you will have children with.

 

      In The Handmaid's Tale the story takes place sometime in the near future

after some kind environmental catastrophe that makes it impossible for most

women to have children.  To solve this problem some radicals set off a nuclear

bomb in Washington during a full session of congress and then declare marshal

law.  They then systematically took all rights away from women and forced the

ones that could have children into camps where they would be contracted out to

powerful ranking officials to have their children.  These women are referred too

as "handmaids."

 

      Next, I would like to discuss the main characters, in The Handmaid's

Tale and in Anthem.  In both books the main characters are basically nameless

people, in The Handmaid's Tale we never learn the name of the main character,

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Comparison of The Handmaid's Tale and Anthem." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16840>.
Title Length Color Rating  
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean toxic waste. Fear is power. Fear is ever-present in Gilead; it is implemented through violence and force....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
904 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
A Handmaid's Tale Essay - A Handmaid's Tale A new society is created by a group of people who strengthen and maintain their power by any means necessary including torture and death. Margaret Atwood's book, A Handmaid's Tale, can be compared to the morning after a bad fight within an abusive relationship. Being surrounded by rules that must be obeyed because of being afraid of the torture that will be received. There are no other choices because there is control over what is done, who you see and talk to, and has taken you far away from your family....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1650 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale as a Biblical Allusion Essay - The Handmaid's Tale: A Biblical Allusion Imagine a country where choice is not a choice.  One is labeled by their age and economical status.  The deep red cloaks, the blue embroidered dresses, and the pinstriped attire are all uniforms to define a person's standing in society.  To be judged, not by beauty or personality or talents, but by the ability to procreate instead. To not believe in the Puritan religion is certain death.  To read or write is to die.  This definition is found to be true in the book, The Handmaid's Tale (1986) by Margaret Atwood....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1456 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Portents of the Monotheocracy in The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Portents of the Monotheocracy in The Handmaid's Tale        American society has had certain cultural and political forces which have proliferated over the past few decades-described as the return to traditional Christian values. Television commercials promoting family values followed by endorsements from specific denominations are on the rise. As the public has become more aware of a shift in the cultural and political climate through the mass media, Margaret Atwood, in writing The Handmaid's Tale, could have been similarly affected by this growing awareness of the public consciousness....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2420 words
(6.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: The Struggle of Women - The Struggle of Women in The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale This is a futuristic novel that takes place in the northern part of the USA sometime in the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the oppressive and totalitarian Republic of Gilead. The regime demands high moral retribution and a virtuous lifestyle. The Bible is the guiding principle. As a result of the sexual freedom, free abortion and high increase of venereal diseases at the end of the twentieth century, many women, (and men also, but that is forbidden to say), are sterile....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 850 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale and Family Values Essay - The Handmaid's Tale and Family Values In the olden days, religion and politics went hand in hand. The church either ran the land or had a strangle hold on the people. If the church thought there was one way to do something, one had to do as the church requested or suffer great penalty. To go against the church was to go against God, and that meant death. The king was supposed to be chosen by God to rule the people in the way he commanded. The king was the closest thing to God on earth....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1273 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Essay example - Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In "The Handmaid's Tale", Margaret Atwood tells a saddening story about a not-to-distant future where toxic chemicals and abuses of the human body have resulted in many men and women alike becoming sterile. The main character, Offred, gives a first person encounter about her subservient life as a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a republic formed after a bloody coup against the United States government. She and her fellow handmaids are fertile women that the leaders of Gilead, the Commanders, enslave to ensure their power and the population of the Republic....   [tags: Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1236 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - I Tell, Therefore I Am In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, women are subjected to unthinkable oppression. Practically every aspect of their life is controlled, and they are taught to believe that their only purpose is to bear children for their commander. These “handmaids” are not allowed to read, write or speak freely. Any type of expression would be dangerous to the order of the Gilead’s strict society. They are conditioned to believe that they are safer in this new society. Women are supposedly no longer exploited or disrespected (pornography, rape, etc.) as they once were....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale] 878 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale, written by Margaret Attwood, goes on to explore the consequences that come to be from the reversal of womens rights in a society called Gilead. It is what one can consider a cautionary tale. In the new world of Gilead, a group of conservative religious extremists have taken power, and have turned the sexual revolution upside down. The society of Gilead is founded on what is to be considered a return to traditional values, gender roles and the subjugation of women by men, and the Bible is used as the guiding principle....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1987 words
(5.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale - Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale is distinguished by its various narrative and structural divisions. It contains four different levels of narrative time: the pre-Revolution past, the time of the Revolution itself, the Gileadean period, and the post-Gileadean period (LeBihan 100). In addition, the novel is divided into two frames, both with a first person narrative. Offred's narrative makes up the first frame, while the second frame is provided by the Historical Notes, a transcript of a lecture given by a Cambridge professor....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 623 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

Related Searches





because she always refers to herself as "I" and the other characters in the book

refer to her with a generic title for her position as a handmaid.  In Anthem the

main character does not have the word I in his vocabulary so he either refers to

himself as Equality-1329, or as "we."

 

      As far as physical appearance goes, in Anthem the main character is a

man who seems to be in good heath since he has a job as a street sweeper and he

is able to preform his duties well.  Later in the book he finds a mirror, and he

describes himself as beautiful."  He also seems to be of good intelligence

because he describes his experience in school as easy and boring, and he said

that he understood more that the teachers.  In Handmaid's Tale the main

character is a woman of who seems to be mildly attractive since she acquires the

interest of several men in the story.  She also seems to be fairly intelligent

because she said that she had taken several college courses.  Although both

characters are both apparently in good health and both are intelligent, but they

have very different personalities and personal goals.

 

      In Anthem the main character is pro-active, he sees that there are

problems with the society that he lives in and he tries to change it.  He

discovers a secret place where he can go and do scientific research and he re-

invents the electric light.  He shows his invention at a convention of

scientists, and when his ideas are rejected he is strong enough to realize that

it is he, the individual that is right, and not society, he then runs away into

the wilderness in hopes of starting his own new society.   The main character in

The Handmaid's Tale is less of a pro-active person she knows that her society is

flawed, and she tells the reader that she does not like her life yet she does

nothing about it.  The high ranking general that she is "handmaid" for takes her

into a position of confidence, and rather than use her position to affect

positive change she squanders it on cheap pleasures such as asking for a

magazine to read, and playing bored games.

 

      In ending I would like to say that although both characters live in

similar controlling societies, I like the one in Anthem the best because he was

pro-active and he did something about his surroundings rather than just accept

what was and go on.


Return to 123HelpMe.com