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George Orwell Case

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George Orwell

-belief in democratic socialism

-wrote that he felt guilty about his role in the work of the empire and saw that England also had its oppressed

-Intention of describing a society that he would never want live in

- wanted to show how life was like in Germany and in the soviet, wanted to warn the world how it was too late for them and coming closer to everyone else

-description of big brother bores a resemblance to Stalin

-his being bullied at st. cyprian's for feelings of victims toward tormentors; his life in the Indian Burma Police and his experiences with censorship in the BBC models of authoritarian power

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." -- Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

"The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth." (Part 1 - Chapter 7)

Margaret Atwood

-criticized of being anti-Christian

-anti-biblical attitudes towards sex

- the novel is set in America in the future

Some of the underpinnings of the Republic of Gilead come from the Bible, especially the Book of Genesis. The primary reference is to the story of Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29:31-35; 30:1-24). Leah, Rachel's sister and the first wife of Jacob, was fertile and was blessed by God; but Rachel, Jacob's second wife, was thought to be infertile until much later in her life. Rachel and Leah compete in bearing sons for their husband by using their handmaids as proxies and taking immediate possession of the children they produce. In the context of Atwood's book, the story is one of female competition, jealousy, and reproductive cruelty.

"This is a book about what happens when certain casually held attitudes about women are taken to their logical conclusions" (394).

Atwood mocks those who talk of "traditional values" and those who suggest that women should return to being housewives

Atwood's social critique in the novel has been challenged, such as by conservative pundit Elizabeth Kantor, who objected to Atwood's portrayal of Christianity as a potential source of totalitarianism.

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