Compare and Contrast the Theme of Control in the Handmaids Tale and Nineteen Eighty-Four

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Compare and contrast the theme of control in The Handmaids Tale and Nineteen Eighty-Four
Control is a central theme in both dystopian texts and control is present in both novels. Both societies in the novels are heavily controlled and restricted, but the key difference is in the regime used by the respective governments in each text. In The Handmaids Tale the government’s ideologies are theosophical whereas Nineteen Eighty-Four is based on socialism. These ideologies play a key role in the ways that control is presented in each novel. The governments use different forms of control to maintain their regimes and power and these include: indoctrination through control of hierarchy, language and religion. The governments act as totalitarian regimes which constantly monitor the lives of its citizens to keep them under their control.
Orwell took inspiration from the plight of Britain during the time the novel was written; 1948. Britain had just come out of a horrifying war that devastated the world - World War Two - and her economy and overseas relations were in deep water. Britain’s economy was at its lowest in decades and very unstable; her Empire was dissolving in to the common wealth and international relations were quickly turning sour. Similarly to The Handmaids Tale, Nineteen Eighty-Four warns against governments’ overwhelming acquirement of power. Orwell himself was well-versed in the world of politics and strategies deployed by governments to gain control. He was also a traditional man and detested modernisation and the rapid growth that technology was experiencing and this clear in his unnerving use of the fictitious “telescreens” used to watch over the citizens in Air Strip One.
In both cases novels there is a strict hierarchy. In The Handmaids Tale the class system is more complex than in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The hierarchy is as follows: Commanders, Angels,…...

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