The Handmaid's Tale

Symbolism of Infertility in Children of Men (Film) and The Handmaid’s Tale (Television Adaptation) College

One of the issues that society has always been focused on is fertility. Nowadays, this topic is multidimensional and covers such problems as overpopulation in some countries (such as India) and rising infertility rates in others, such as in South Korea in which an older population has overbalanced the young (Haas, 2018; Lamble, 2018). There is major symbolism surrounding fertility and infertility and overall the connection of procreation with women’s role. In particular, the film Children of Men and the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale place infertility at the core of their plots, which symbolizes their authors’ ideas and views on human nature. Moreover, we can observe the social structures that occur in these imaginary worlds. First of all, infertility acts as an instrument of power and triggers the creation of a strict social order and theocracy, as it is shown in The Handmaid’s Tale. Secondly, the consequences of infertility prompt the chaotic dictatorship in Children of Men. Although shown in absolutely different ways, both works treat a similar symbolic vocabulary of infertility and engage the roles of women. As a prism of analysis, I will use The Second Sex (1949) by Simone de Beauvoir, which depicts the mechanisms of...

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