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Hans Christian Andersen
In the course Y2k and The End of The World, we've studied apocalyptic themes, eschatology, and for some, teleology. Apocalypse, which is to unveil or reveal, eschatology, which is a concept of the end, and teleology, the end or purpose to which we are drawn, are all themes used in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The book is apocalyptic in that it revolves around dystopian ideals. Atwood creates a world in which worst-case scenarios take control and optimistic viewpoints and positive attitudes disappear. It has been said about this book that Atwood's writing echoes numerous motifs and literary devices, such as in Huxley's creation of a drug-calmed society, her characters awaiting execution seem tranquilized by pills or shots.
Atwood's Book has also been compared to other novels like it, such as Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, and the most obvious, Orwell's 1984. These books have many things in common, including the perversion of science and technology as a major determinant of society's function and control. Like most dystopian novels, The Handmaid's Tale includes the oppression of society, mainly women in this example, the prevention of advancement of thought and intelligence, and an overwhelming sense of government involvement and interference.
The Apocalyptic themes and situations found in Atwood's fictional city of Gilead focus around the mistreatment of all females. Women in this city, set 200 years in the future, have no rights, and get little respect. The rule by way of theocracy in Gilead also adds to the sense of regression and hopelessness in the future. The way babies are brought into the world, only through pregnant handmaids, the idea of a black market for things considered luxuries and privileges all add to the fact that society in this novel is in a desperate state of disrepair.
Other Apocalyptic themes found in the book can be compared to sections of the bible, particularly the Old Testament. The Handmaid's Tale has many elements of social decline written into its plot. From the way women are mistreated to the way corruption and evil have infiltrated the government and army, to the way the black market plays a key role in many people's lives causing a majority of society to become criminals makes it clear how social decline plays a key role in the book. There is also a strong sense of moral decline in the book. If a person, regardless of sex, doesn't fit into the tight pattern of role expectation, he or she is eliminated, exiled from Gilead, and left for dead. Also, God plays virtually no part in this soulless, sterile theocracy. The Commander locks away the family bible and the only other worship takes place through a computerized prayer service which people order through the phone. The society of Gilead also attempts to weed out all non-whites, even though it is ultimately unsuccessful, while at the same time, it successfully prevents women from gaining any individual identity.
As you can see, many apocalyptic themes are present in the novel. Planned pregnancy of surrogate mothers, an oppressive government, and an absence of God all contribute to the themes inherent in the story. Although some have called the novel a warning about the future, others claim it is a forecast, the fact still remains that characters in the book have less respect for the officials in society, less respect for the religions that now run the government, and less respect for themselves making the future into a terrible, terrible place.
The Handmaid's Tale is set in the futuristic Republic of Gilead. Sometime in the future, conservative Christians take control of the United States and establish a dictatorship. Most women in Gilead are infertile after repeated exposure to pesticides, nuclear waste, or leakage from chemical weapons. The few fertile women are taken to camps and trained to be handmaidens, birth mothers for the upper class. Infertile lower-class women are sent either to clean up toxic waste or to become "Marthas", which are house servants. No women in the Republic are permitted to be openly sexual; sex is for reproduction only. The government declares this a feminist improvement on the sexual politics of today when women are seen as sex objects.
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lord of the rings
The Lord of the Flies
William Goldings book, The Lord of the Flies is a wonderful, fictional book about the struggle and survival of a group of boys trapped on an uninhabited island. This book kept me very interested and made me want to keep reading. The characters were very diverse and each had very appealing qualities in themselves. The setting is brilliantly described and the plot is surprisingly very well thought out. Many things like these make this book such a classic.
Although there are not many characters in The Lord of the Flies, there are many different personalities and differences between them. The first character in the book is Ralph. Ralph is twelve years old with blond hair, and is the most charismatic of the group. He is described as being built "like a boxer," is somewhat charismatic and is chosen for chief, who makes it his job to lay down rules and try to organize a society. Throughout the novel he is always in conflict with Jack, who wants to be chief himself. Ralph and Piggy agree with each others ideas, but Ralph doesnt realize how important Piggy really is to him until the very end of the novel. Although Ralph never reaches the understanding about the Beast that Simon does, he knows right from wrong.
Jack is about Ralph's age, with a skinnier build and red hair. His freckled face is described as being "ugly without silliness." From the very beginning, he seems to harbor emotions of anger and savagery. At first, he is the leader of his choir group, who becomes hunters as the book progresses. Finally, his savage personality and ability to tell people what they want to hear allows him to overtake Ralph as chief. Jack does not believe that the Beast exists and is the leader of anarchy on the island. From the start of the novel he does not like abiding by rules of any kind. He simply wants to hunt and have a good time. Not seeming to care about being rescued, Jack and his tribe are examples of the Beast running rampant. In the beginning of the story Jack, still conditioned by the previous society he had been apart of, could not bear to kill a pig that was caught in the brush. As the plot progresses he becomes less and less attached to any societal norms. Near the end, he feels no shame about the deaths of Simon and Piggy, or his attempt to kill Ralph.
Piggy is a short and overweight boy who wears glasses and represents order and democracy. He is afflicted with asthma and doesn't care to do strenuous work on the island. He tries very hard to cling to civilization, and tries his best to keep peace. While probably the smartest boy on the island, he lacks any social skills whatsoever, and has trouble communicating or fitting in with the others. His glasses are a very important part of the book, as they are used over and over to start fires.
eSimon is younger than the three boys above are. He is very good and pure, and has the most positive outlook. He insists multiple time that they will get rescued, even when Ralph strongly doubts the possibility. The boys all think that hes batty; he likes to be by himself and sometimes does and says strange things. Simon is the only boy who discovers what the Beast truly is. He learns this during the interview with the Lord of the Flies. When he tries to tell the rest of the children he is mistaken as the Beast and beaten to death.
Sam and Eric are two young twins who always travel and do everything together. Without each other, they are incapable of very much. They represent reliance and unity, and because of this become like one person referred to as Samneric. While seemingly loyal to Ralph, they eventually give in to Jack's threats and join his tribe. While Ralph hoped otherwise, the twins in the end disclose Ralph's hiding spot to Jack. The loss of civilization led them to lose any real sense of loyalty to others.
A small boy with dirty and shaggy black hair, Roger ... more
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lord of the rings The Lord of the Flies William Goldings book, The Lord of the Flies is a wonderful, fictional book about the struggle and survival of a group of boys trapped on an uninhabited island. This book kept me very interested and made me want to keep reading. The characters were very diverse and each had very appealing qualities in themselves. The setting is brilliantly described and the plot is surprisingly very well thought out. Many things like these make this book such a classic....
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