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The Handmaid's Tale Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Handmaid's Tale.
This section contains 2,941 words
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay, Wood compares Fahrenheit 451 with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, focusing on their historical context and respective treatment of conformity and institutionalized repression.

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale depict the rational decision to go into exile, to leave one's native land, that is, the pre-exile condition. These novels present horrifying views of the near future where societal pressures enforce rigid limitations on individual freedom. Their alienated characters find their circumstances repugnant. Justice and freedom are denied them, along with the possibility for enriching their lives through intellectual pursuits. These speculative novels like Orwell's 1984 are dystopian in nature, showing how precarious are today's constitutional rights and how necessary it is to preserve these liberties for future generations. They depict ordinary people, caught in circumstances that they cannot control, people who resist oppression at the risk of their lives and who choose exile...

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This section contains 2,941 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide
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The Handmaid's Tale from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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