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1984 and The Handmaid's Tale

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eeeeek I'm getting desperatee noww!

We spent so long doing a million texts for our orals in Year 12, of which we could only choose one anyway, and now we've ended up rushing through our texts for our EXAMS :D

anywayyy is anyone doing 1984 and/or The Handmaid's Tale and got some good notes that i could use? I've tried to do some on my own, but English isn't my strongest point so i want to make sure I'm not missing anything out.

What i particularly have problems with is comparing two texts which is vital for the exam:( so if anyone has comparison notes as well, that would be completely and utterly great too! :P

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eeeeek I'm getting desperatee noww!

We spent so long doing a million texts for our orals in Year 12, of which we could only choose one anyway, and now we've ended up rushing through our texts for our EXAMS :)

anywayyy is anyone doing 1984 and/or The Handmaid's Tale and got some good notes that i could use? I've tried to do some on my own, but English isn't my strongest point so i want to make sure I'm not missing anything out.

What i particularly have problems with is comparing two texts which is vital for the exam:( so if anyone has comparison notes as well, that would be completely and utterly great too! :)

Yeah I'm using these two books for my English A1 exam as well, I could use some good notes too

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I've read both books (for fun though, not for a class) and the first couple things that come to mind theme-wise are the roles of women, children, and men. Each one has a different place in society; there's a different perspection about each. For example, children in 1984 are seen as ways of spying on their parents and thus people have a kinda negative opinion of them (except that double-think allows them to think that and not think it at the same time :angryspeech: ). However, in handmaid's tale, children, specifically babies, are highly revered and bring the women together.

There's also the influence of the government in society and how far-reaching it is, the way history is used to change people's thoughts (I forget about how exactly it is used in handmaid's tale, though I think they just erased it). Also, the different meanings of things like love, honour, courage, justice, etc. can be compared for the two books.

Really, both are creating distopian societies. Look at how they create them -- both have a totalitarian government, but in 1984, there is the contraints on language and thought as well, which is quite important. I know that in the handmaid's tale, language from the past society is restricted, so that could be another point of comparison.

I dunno, read the books and look at how the plot develops, how they end (that's key - is there hope for the future or not? pay special attention to the last chapter of handmaid's tale with the history conference long after), the characters portrayed, and everything else you can pick out of the books.

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I did these 2 together too, for part 4 and used to have a huge list comparing and contrasting them but that's gone now. I'll type up what I remember

Religion is a huge topic in both. In Handmaid, the whole idea of the handmaid is taken from the Bible - thus the passage at the beginning. It's implied the setting of the novel is post-nuclear 'America' (land of the free and the brave. Hmm. Freedom now is twisted from 'freedom to' to 'freedom from' ), thus overtones of theology. I mean you have the Japanese tourists who are obviously still very normal, then you've got this degenerate Gilead which is basically a world of its own. However, while in Handmaid, religion is incorporated into the politics, in 1984 there is no religion but Big Brother practically becomes a religion.

The lack of thought in each of Offred and Winston. Handmaids like Offred are basically left bore themselves stupid, quite literally, while in 1984 thought is taken away by removing language - introducing the idea of can you have thoughts without language (yay TOK, I hear you cry!)

Food/sustenance - very very bland food (or really sustenance in 1984). Just another point to emphasise the dystopian characteristic of the 2 novels.

You could talk about how both novels have a sort of epilogue/appendix thing at the end. You know in 1984 you have that paper on Newspeak and in Handmaid you have that conference on the cassettes of Offred's story being found. Compare the roles of these 2 pieces.

Both novels talk of the experiences of those cutting away from the conformed society of the time and what happens to them, ultimately. 1984 carries the hopelessness all along the way, have Winston being reeducated to what society wants him to be. But Offred's fate is sort of open at the end, we don't really know what happens to her.

Nick and Julia are comparable.

Sex. There's lots to say on this. The role of sex as pleasure, sex as a function (children), lack of sex are relevant in both novels.

1984 was written in 1948 which was the beginning of the Cold War and basically in 1984 the world is divided into 3 camps - so to speak. we can see that as reflective of the historical happens at the time of writing - with the Eastern and Western blocs and the rest of the world being the 3 groups (First world, third world, sort of thing).

Handmaid was written in 1984 (published 1985) and was supposed to be envisioning a late 20th century America (1990s) as the reason to create this new Gilead republic.

Uniform - restriction of individuality, the idea of colour coding people. Complete lack of identity.

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