Survival Through The Love Of Language Essay

1469 Words Jun 10th, 2015 null Page
Survival through the Love of Language
The Handmaid’s Tale is a speculative fiction novel set in a futuristic dystopian society where the manipulation of language, and the erasing of personal identity are the main weapons of control. Through Offred, the narrator of this story, the reader is witness to the struggles of maintaining a sense of self identity, and a connection with others within the constraints of this patriarchal society. Although all citizens of The Republic of Gilead are subject to the strict laws and rules of the Republic (based on a warped version of the Old Testament) women are completely objectified and erased of all individuality. Atwood uses Offred’s character to represent the ways, as a means of survival, one attempts to retain their individual identity within this type of totalitarian government control. Atwood’s attention to words, and their usage, also illustrates to the reader how Offred uses the power of language to retain not only a connection to her own identity, but also to recognize the individuality of others.
The use of language to manipulate and control the behavior and beliefs of the masses has been used by societies throughout history. For instance, both Hitler in Nazi Germany and Mai Tse-tung in China used the manipulation of language, information, and education as a means to control their citizens. This type of manipulation was coined by George Orwell as Doublespeak; the use of language to distort reality and corrupt thought…

Related Documents