Propaganda in The Brave New World and The Handmaid's Tale: Compare and Contrast essay on the propaganda found in the novels Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Essay by KamekaziHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2009

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Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, both portray a dystopian society in the extreme end. A Dystopian society is a form of totalitarian dictatorship as its prototype, a society that puts its whole population continuously on trial, a society, that is, in disenfranchising and enslaving entire classes of its own citizens, a society that, by glorifying and justifying violence by law, preys upon itself. A Dystopian society is what we today would call dysfunctional.

(Ebsco-Points of View). In this type of society, the regime uses propaganda to gain control over the society. Similarly, in The Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale, the leading political regimes use propaganda in the form of cultural references, altered language and through the principle of utilitarianism, in order to gain control over the people.

Alteration of language is one of the main forms of propaganda in The Handmaids Tale and The Brave New World.

Language is a powerful form of rebellion, which can break through the strongest influences. By eliminating or altering words that can lead to rebellion, the regime can ensure stability and power over the state. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the political regime forbids handmaids from reading, writing or conversing with other maids. By doing so, they isolate the handmaids within the walls of Gilead. They create a barrier between ideas and possible actions. When Offred first walks into the commander’s room, she is amazed by what she sees, “But all around the walls there are bookcases. They’re filled with books. Books and books and books, right out in plain view, no locks, no boxes. No wonder we can’t come in here. It’s an oasis of the forbidden” (Atwood 172). By oasis of the forbidden, Offred means, a place preserved from the laws of Gilead. Offred’s reaction is...