The Handmaid's Tale

Utopian "Simplicity": A Comparison of Gilead and Blithedale 12th Grade

Throughout history and literature, utopias usually materialize as attempts to fashion a more perfect society, typically catalyzed by a disagreeable quality of the current civilization. Having an understanding of the purpose for the creation of these faultless organizations can offer justification for the structure and rules of the society found in utopian fiction. Although Margaret Atwood and Nathaniel Hawthorne in their novels, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blithedale Romance respectively, designate distinct severities of punishment for breaking the rules, both authors fashion utopias that ensure each member plays a critical role in the functioning of society. Both Gilead and Blithedale possess a societal structure of a simpler nature as a result of the faults of their preceding civilizations. To investigate the guarantee that society will continue to operate flawlessly, Atwood and Hawthorne design social structures that ensure that each member participates in the advancement of the community.

Within the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead maintains a significantly rigid social structure in order to fulfill the immediate goal of the society: repopulation. Due to a variety of consequences from their previous civilization, the...

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