Consider how The handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood and White teeth by Zadie Smith represent/address a shared theme or con - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# A Thematic Comparison of Two Novels When one considers the topic of culture and religion and the level to which these two fixtures of society work to define and influence the way in which human beings interact with one another, it is easy to see why such themes are oftentimes the subject matter of various works of fiction…
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Consider how The handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood and White teeth by Zadie Smith represent/address a shared theme or con
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Download file to see previous pages Although a thorough discussion of thematic similarities and the shared tones of these pieces would require a dissertation length response, this author will attempt to point out but a few of the most relevant imagery to convey similar understandings. Atwood’s character, Offred, is one which experiences the stifling effects of a male patriarchy and chauvinist dominated religious society. As such, hers is a journey that is punctuated by repression, rebellion, and revelation. What is of particular note with Offred’s character, as well as a pervasive underlying thematic element within the work, is the extent to which the author engages the topic of religion as a means of painting a stark and ominous background under which the action of the story takes place. As if the conservative representation of a totalitarian system that seeks to marginalize while at the same time dominating women is not enough, the author incorporates strong overtones of religious fanaticism as a means to paint a profoundly rigid culture that bears little signs or hope of evolution from within. Time and again exceedingly strong connotations are equated with that of the religious observance that is foisted upon the people of Gilead. These include but are not limited to the use of the words: demand, require, obedience, moral, teaching, law, and god. Similarly, although the second work incorporates 3 tales that slowly evolve and intertwine until a final resolution is met, this extraordinarily brief analysis will consider but one of these three initial stories. As presented in the novel, Samad, an individual of Bangladeshi descent, seeks to impose a strict adherence to Islam upon his two children. As a function of their growing up in a Western culture, Samad’s efforts are somewhat fruitless. As a function of this, Samad sends his children back to Bangladesh to gain a appreciation for Islam and what he deems a “correct” education; devoid of the ills and corruptions of Western society. The imagery used to describe this somewhat torturous decision that Samad must made incorporates many of the same elements as does the Atwood novel described previously. Due to the fact that religion is the motivating factor, Samad is, not unlike the administrators of the state of Gilead, willing to go to extreme measures in order to ensure that a correct interpretation of the religion is followed. To Samad, the evils of the world (specifically the West and its corrupting influence upon his family), is something to be feared. Accordingly, the author uses key words and phrases such as: corrupt, immoral, lack of devotion, torment, moral, and right to define the key drawbacks that he sees his twin boys experience as a function of growing up in England as opposed to receiving a more traditional education that is founded on the fundamental precepts of Islam in Bangladesh (Smith 109). In this sense, the reader can rapidly see the level to which the two novels share a somewhat analogous view of the means by which religion seeks to influence the individual as well as the culture. Without making any firm value judgments with regards to whether either novel is arguing for the eradication of belief, it is safe to assume that the belief systems that have been described and the way in which the practitioners of these belief systems engage ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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