Censorship Of The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

Censorship Of The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

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Psychologically, censorship is a form of negativism because it is a type of repression caused by the fear of consequences. In the novel The Handmaid 's Tale by Margaret Atwood, censorship is used to manipulate individuals such as Handmaids, into following the laws of their society called Gilead. This book focuses on the negativism in the presence of censorship in a society, and portrays the consequences that come along with it. In this novel, censorship results Handmaids as well as other citizens of Gilead to become narrow minded, following such uncertainty, and essentially being trapped from freedom.
In Gilead, censorship forces Handmaids into a narrow minded thinking regarding the Holy Bible. They are trained to be religious and then are inundated with selective teachings such that full knowledge of the Bible is restricted. In addition, this causes Handmaids to be easily manipulated because the passages they can read from the Bible only give generalized insights about its beliefs. In the novel, the Commander, an authority over Handmaids, mentions a passage from the Bible which states, “Blessed be the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the silent…Blessed be those that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Atwood, 101). This quote denotes how the authorities only give some insight of the Bible; however, they leave out a large proportion of it when the passages are read to the Handmaid 's. According to the King James ' Bible, it says "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth...Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy"(King James Bible, Psalm 1:1-6; Luke 6:20-23). This portrays how after many years of brainwashing Handmaid 's, G...


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...ns of Gilead need to do, is repopulate; therefore, it is not important to live a free and joyful life. The government makes sure to censor words like "free" so that it does not trigger any memory or an idea for the citizens of Gilead.
Censorship is used to shape individuals of Gilead to conform to the society’s norms; this is causes a lot of negativism to be present in society. Initially, the government plants a seed in the Handmaid’s minds, after, they censor the things that go around them, causing them to become illiberal, uncertain about themselves and the society’s norms, and essentially, being trapped in what the modern society has been made to be. They are so deep within the society’s norms that they cannot get out of it. Thus, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, illustrates the dangers of censorship in modern society through the manipulation of people.

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