Looking at these 2 novels we see many similar traits. Both of these books can be viewed through either a feminist lens or a Marxist lens both will be discussed throughout the essay. The main topics in this essay will consist of the high figures and powers in the books, for the Handmaids Tale those being the aunts and the eye. For Brave New World, the higher powers are men because they dominate women throughout the book. The second topic is the loss of identity that the women go through in both books, this is one of the bigger themes. Lastly the biggest and most important theme that is heavily focused on throughout both books is how women are being controlled and only used for their bodies. Atwood and Huxley both portray women as nothing other than child bearers, women are viewed as less important than anybody else and we see that sexism is present.
The great figures in The Handmaids Tale would be viewed as the Commander's spouses or the Aunts. Gilead could be spoken to as a chain of importance with the Commander spouses at the highest point of the pyramid. Underneath the highest point of the pyramid would be the Aunts, and after that the Handmaids, which the novel is based on. The Aunts makes the tenets that the Handmaids need to submit to entirely. The Aunts are the focal power figure and the expert figures at the inside. They have the control to change the tenets, oppress the Handmaids and utilize their capacity of supervision to the extremes. The Aunts do have to some degree a mercy to do what they need; in any case, they can't be imprudent on the grounds that they need great ethics and set a decent case for the Handmaids. The eye is likewise watching them and the Handmaids. The Aunts are supervisory figures at this middle where every one of these ladies live. The included Aunt of this novel is Aunt Lydia, she directs the ladies. Close relative Lydia likewise voices her supposition to the ladies about how ladies ought to be exclusively worried about imagining kids and about different convictions of ladies in the Gilead society. The Aunts assert that the ladies are shielded from savagery and are remained careful, particularly when assault is an awful punishment bringing about terrible beatings and hangings.
Huxley in The Brave New World gives us a look at how women really had no power and were only used for reproduction. There is an overwhelming amount of patriarchy in this novel and we see that throughout the book that only men are the head figures. Men are the only ones who are able to get an education and have a job, we see this when only men can govern the state and are able to have high power careers. Women get downgraded in the book a point of this is when the director (a male) says to his students (all male) women giving up their eggs is how the society maintains social stability. “No social stability without individual stability.” This quote is saying that pretty much if women weren’t stable and able to carry/ bear children there would be no social stability. Like in Atwoods The Handmaids tale we see that men are the focal power figure and are in control over the women.
The loss of character is demonstrated when the ladies change over to the Handmaids with their changed names under consistent supervision in a totalitarian state. The loss of character is common among the Handmaids when they need to persevere through the battle of control with wearing a similar red formally dressed dress, not demonstrating their appearances. Once the ladies change over to the now opportunity less and strict existence of being a Handmaid, their name is changed to just a single name starting with "of" from their conceived an offspring name. Offred and Ofglen have these names which are utilized as slave name for their capacity. Offred's name is signifies "of Fred" which implying that she has a place with her Commander whose name is Fred. This general public in transit ladies are dealt with and the way they dress resembles a flashback to a past time of time, the 1800s. The Handmaids pick as well as want to end up impregnated by the Commander despite the fact that they have spouses. They need to be the person who has the capacity or even opportunity to convey an offspring of the Commanders. They make reproduction their life and their obligation to consider. "Give me youngsters, or else I kick the bucket. Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the product of the womb? Observe my house keeper Bilhah. She might prove to be fruitful upon my knees, that I may likewise have kids by her." The main assignment they are permitted to take an interest in is multiplication and they are not permitted to have any closeness from that experience. This closeness includes generic and silent sex while another lady, Serena Joy holds the hands of the Handmaid. These handmaids are instilling into the belief system of Gilead. The Handmaids are exploited and are continually abused. The Handmaids are utilized as, similar to an instrument; they are utilized creatures. They are dealt with as articles and that's it, there isn't any feeling appeared between anybody
When looking at loss of identity in Huxley’s book we see that women are stripped of their rights thus having them not be able to have an identity. We see that one of the main characters Lenina has a flashback causing her to think about unwanted events. These things haunt the girls and has a small part in them not having an identity. " Lenina suddenly remembered an occasion when, as a little girl at school, she had woken up in the middle of the night and become aware, for the first time, of the whispering that had haunted all her sleeps. She saw again the beam of moonlight, the row of small white beds; heard once more the soft, soft voice that said (the words were there, unforgotten, unforgettable after so many night-long repetitions): "Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one…" Lenina remembered her first shock of fear and surprise; her speculations through half a wakeful hour; and then, under the influence of those endless repetitions, the gradual soothing of her mind, the soothing, the smoothing, the stealthy creeping of sleep.” The women in this book are told they are not allowed to feeling and are to stay away from relationships because its something they aren’t meant to have. Telling them not to feel and are only used for sex. The director goes on to talk about being forced to like what you do because its your only destiny “and that..is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny,”. From a Marxism lens, there is an idea that everyone is to serve the community and each person has their own job and it is their duty to fulfill that specific job role. This quote views ones future as “inescapable” meaning they have no other choice but to do it. Huxley also uses “conditioning” and by doing this it is stripping away any human thoughts or emotions casing them to forcefully like and be happy about their “inescapable social destiny”.
The republic of Gilead could be considered a dystopia of cultural feminism. Gilead is a futuristic representation of the United States of America and has the characteristics of a totalitarian and theocratic state. The government has control and authority over Gilead. They have banned forms of pleasure and luxury. They have dehumanized and created an oppressive society. To keep this society in tack the government created The Eye, where they watch the citizens for any feminism outbreaks or criminal activity. Gilead suffers of dangerously low reproduction rates and because of this, the Handmaids are assigned the duty to bear children from the couples who cannot conceive, which are the Commander and his wife. The main character in this novel, Offred, tells the fictional events that the Handmaids live or endure. Handmaids are considered very valuable for having viable ovaries. They are considered sacred. This culture of feminism is surprising to some readers who choose to read this novel; it can also be considered a retelling of past events that have occurred across the world. In the Middle East, the Muslims as a part of their culture and religion choose to cover themselves from head to toe and including the face being covered just as the Handmaids are in The Handmaids Tale. This society adheres to unusual, shocking, and abnormal behavior from all the characters in this novels society compared to today’s modern society. The Handmaids may not be at most comfortable with this idea of sex or supervision; however, they do not really have a choice or even the chance of freedom against it. “Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary." The Handmaids are subjected to this new society and the supervision that they now have been accustomed to.
Lastly, we see a prominent theme in Brave new world where women are only used for their bodies and see that feminism still exists. In the book, all the women are viewed as the same and are only needed for one purpose and that’s to bear children. They are forced to give up their eggs to maintain the “social stability” of their society. Having all the women the same/ similar shows the importance to keep the lack of individually. “I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.” The women in the book are forced to believe that they are not allowed to have relationships because they aren’t meant for women. Women are controlled by the men and aren’t able to do anything unless is involves them maintaining the social stability of society.
In conclusion, after comparing these two books we see that women were really only being used for one purpose and were stripped away of all their rights. When we are comparing this to today’s society things are very different. Today women are allowed to get an education, have good jobs even high-power ones like a governor or a political figure. We are not watched by people on our every action or told not to have relationships or feelings. Yes, there are still many things in today’s society that oppose women but nothing like the way portrayed in these books. Even In the books we see in Atwoods that the women still try to live their lives with some happiness and freedom but is difficult because the women are constantly being watched by their higher powers and told to obey strict rules.
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