Sexuality in Literature Essays

Sexuality in Literature Essays

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Sexuality has always an issue of conflict and debate. Who controls sexuality, and is male and female sexuality really distinguishable. People have always been having sex; for reproduction and for pleasure. Even though it is a women’s and a man’s rightful claim to this intercourse women tend to feel as if sexuality is against them. This would also be contingent on the type on society one lives in. In some societies the mere topic of sex is tabooed and the subject is not confronted with clarity, meanwhile in other societies it is encouraged, praised, and advocated to speak about it openly. Sexuality in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was one that was tabooed and against the strict, empowering rules of the Gilead state. Sex was forbidden for men and women; but women were the ones who reproduced the babies. Therefore, they were forced into having sex with no pleasure to conceive children. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, sex for only sexual pleasure is what society actually strived at. The feeding of the physical as being more essential than anything else that can bring about happiness and repress the truth.
A new form of military government is set up in Gilead, the United States; stripping all women from their normal behaviors and way of life. Even though the lives of men have also been changed they are still the ones in power able to rule, control, and restrain women as they feel they should do. Women no longer have the choice, judgment to personal freedom; to say what they want to do with their lives and how they go about operating it. They must follow the rules that have been placed on society and to break them would mean death. We see through Offred’s eyes, hear through her ears, and feel with her heart the torture an...


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...Knowledge. London: Penguin.

Huxley, Aldous (1998). Brave New World (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Higgins, Charles & Higgins, Regina (2000). Cliff Notes on Huxley's Brave New World. New York: Wiley Publishing.

Reader's Companion to The Handmaid's Tale© 1998 by Doubleday. (interview with Margaret Atwood)

"Trust Me": Reading the Romance Plot in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
Madonne Miner Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer, 1991), pp. 148-168 Published by: Hofstra University.
Margaret Atwood discusses her novel on World Book Club, BBC World Service (Audio file format).
The World as It will Be? Female Satire and the Technology of Power in "The Handmaid's Tale" Stephanie Barbé Hammer. Modern Language Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring, 1990), pp. 39-49 Published by: Modern Language Studies

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