We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Propaganda in The Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale Essay Sample

essay
  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1,560
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: world

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

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 sudden due to the strict laws of that society that are engraved through the means of force. By forbidding reading or writing, the regime is indirectly preventing the formation of ideas leading to rebellion. Similarly, in The Brave New World, the leading regime eliminates commonly used phrases that can trigger questions relating to the artificial method of their creation. This is done through sleep talks that occur regularly between certain ages. One of the major alterations of words in The Brave New World is the word “Ford” altered from god. Henry Ford was the creator of the automated assembly line, a major breakthrough in mass production.

In our society, mass production is used for consumer goods. The religions in our society are based on the belief that god created this universe and the people. However, in The Brave New World, due to Ford’s technology being used for mass producing humans, he is considered the creator of that society and thus the god. This can be observed when Bernard Marx walks in late at the Sunday night ritual, “Thank Ford! He was not the last” (Huxley 79). When Bernard Marx said “Thank Ford”, in our society, it would be more like “Thank God”. However, due to Henry Ford being their creator, the idea of god has been wiped out of their minds. This was done purposely to avoid citizens from questioning the validity of their creation.

Another method the regimes use propaganda is through the principle of Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the moral worth of an action determined by its contribution to overall utility, i.e. its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summoned among all persons (Wikipedia-Utilitar

ianism pars. 1-2). In The Handmaid’s Tale, the regime uses the principal of utilitarianism in order

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
to justify the use of Handmaids as the reproductive organs of Gilead. When Handmaids are brought to Gilead, they are sent to the Red Center, where they are brainwashed towards being subservient to men and concerned with bearing children. These reasons are justified through the means of social attributes. They are told that their subversive nature will earn them respect and safety, which will contribute to the greater good of Gilead. “Blessed are the meek” (Atwood 125) is what Aunt Lydia tries to engrave at the Red Center. It simply signifies over submissiveness as the path to respect and security in the society.

Similarly, in The Brave New World, the principle of utilitarianism is the basis for mass cloning humans. In the novel, the controller justifies cloning as a way of eliminating emotions, desires, and human relationships from society. According to him, which means according to the regime, emotions and relationships are waste of time and life on earth. When the controller is talking to the students at the factory tour, he describes the Pre-Ford days where “Mother, monogamy and romance existed. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy” (Huxley 41). According to the regime, the functions for humans should be defined in a society, and time should not be wasted on emotions with family and friends. According to the regime, by eliminating normal human behavior and replacing it with artificial behavior solely for the purpose of creating a society where humans are turned into machines for production and consumption, everyone will be happy. The actions are result oriented, and everyone is brainwashed with the same motto repeatedly, i.e. everyone belongs to everyone else, that’s why everybody’s happy nowadays.

Religion is another major reoccurring method of propaganda in both novels. Religion is the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices (“Religion”-Oxford Dictionary). In The Handmaid’s Tale, religion plays a major role in brainwashing the Handmaids. Gilead has a government where there is no separation between state and religion, or in other words, a theocracy. The official language in Gilead consists of religious terminology and biblical references. The caste system is based on biblical terms. Servants are referred to as “Marthas”, the police officers are called “Guardians of faith”, soldiers are called “Angels” and Commanders are known as “Commanders of the faithful”. The store names are derived from biblical terms. The bakery and fishery store is called “Loaves and Fishes”, the meat store is called “All Flesh” and the dairy store is called “Milk and Honey”. Since these words are used everyday, it is a method of brainwashing the Handmaids into thinking that Gilead is acting on the authority of the Bible (Quotations- Atwood).

In The Brave New World, religion is used as propaganda in a unique way. In the world state, everyone is required to take doses of Soma, which is an intoxicating and a hallucinogenic beverage, used as an offering to Henry Ford. The controller’s justification to the use of Soma is; “In the past you could only accomplish things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears—that’s what soma is” (Huxley 234). The controller describes Soma as a tool that allows everyone to be “morally aware”. In this case, Soma is a symbol of sacrament similar to offering to god, which represents the use of religion to control society. It is a symbol of gratification to control society, because an intoxicated person is not in the right mind, and it is a way the regime clouds over the truth.

Margaret Atwood and Aldous Huxley portray a totalitarian state where propaganda is the main source of control over the society. The citizens in Gilead and the World State are brainwashed in to believing the goals of their respective society. Religion is the emotional form of propaganda used in the novels because religion is a connection between a person and their beliefs. When these beliefs are incorporated into a regime’s ultimatum, the person is wrongfully deceived into believing that religion plays a role in the goals of that regime. Language is also an important form of propaganda used in both novels, because it is hard to brainwash people when they are aware of the results. It is easier to convey messages in an altered form of language, where only the conveyer knows what is being said. Last but not least, the principle of Utilitarianism is an important form of propaganda because people will not submissively agree with a regime’s sudden takeover unless their justification is result oriented and for the welfare of the society.

Bibliography:

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. Canada, 1985Fox, Justin. “Dystopian Society” Totalitarian State 8 Nov. 1999: 40- . ABI/INFORM Global. Ebsco Host: Points of View. Glenforest Secondary School Library, Mississauga, ON. 15 Nov. 1999 .

Huxley, Aldous. The Brave New World. New York, 1932Religion.” Def.1b. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989

We can write a custom essay on

Propaganda in The Brave New World and The Handmaid ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

The Crown of Thorns starfish

The Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) is a creature that in the past few years is gaining a lot of attention since is one of the responsible of the deterioration of coral reefs all around the world. In fact, the Acanthaster planci is the most important corallivore since its adaptations to the environment have permitted them to reproduce excessively and leaded to the destruction of many reefs. 3810635 An Acanthaster planci, arms covered by spikes. http://bioweb. uwlax. edu As shown by the photo the COTS’ main physical characteristic is the presence of spiked arms, mature organisms can have up to 23 arms with two inches long and extremely sharp spikes. These spikes and the body of the starfish also contain two types of venoms: saponins, that can lead to inflammation on body tissues and nausea and which also has an unpleasant taste for predators, and Plancitoxin 1 that can kill...

The World Should Come Together

That\'s how the world was before they started the U.N. or United Nation.The world should become one nation and have a counsel for leadership because the world would share interests, we haven\'t had a world war since the U.N. or United Nations was made in 1945, also we could go explore other planets and solar systems. The first thing we could do is we could share interests or our strong points like food, building, and health.If we do that we could benefit many people who need a better life. We could also help people who need a better life by contributing to online games like free rice that gives rice people who need have no or little food. Another thing we could do if we shared our interests is that we can have new businesses that would benefit people that have a special talent or skill like crafting. Or we could...

What Kind of World Do You Want...

In 2012, the concentrated eruption of disputes in East Asia, the continued conflict between Pakistan and Israel both suggest that the haunting history has been and even is increasingly to be sources of distrust, hatred, and thus conflicts in the world. As the 20th century passed away, the 21st century has brought us a difficult task as how to deal with our tumultuous past. I hope that the world in the new century would be a world that can be at peace with its past---it would not be mired in the historical grievances, but would instead look into possibilities of the future. William Faulkner once said: “The past is never dead, it is not even past." This still holds truth today. Decades and even centuries on, our uncomfortable historical legacies have lingered on, troubling most of us, and shadowing the peace and stability of the world. For one thing, the...

Popular Essays

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?