A link between 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale has been compared to other cautionary tales, such as Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Margaret Atwood says that she feels there is at least one way her novel is like Nineteen Eighty-Four.

”You’ll notice,” she says, “and not many people have, that the section on Newspeak at the end of Nineteen Eighty-Four talks about Newspeak in the past tense. It’s written in ordinary language, not Newspeak. The obvious implication from that is that the regime has fallen, that someone in the future, we don’t know who, has lived to tell the tale and to write this analysis of Newspeak in the past tense.

”And my book isn’t totally bleak and pessimistic either, for several reasons. The central character – the Handmaid Offred – gets out. The possibility of escape exists. A society exists in the future which is not the society of Gilead and is capable of reflecting about the society of Gilead in the same way that we reflect about the 17th century. Her little message in a bottle has gotten through to someone – which is about all we can hope, isn’t it?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s