As I was reading A Handmaid’s Tale, I noticed how prevalent the issue of freedom versus government control was. I am personally very interested in these kinds of issues and love discussing them, so that is why I decided to choose this as my topic. I have studied objectivism (Ayn Rand’s philosophy centered on individual rights) for many years now, and so I really enjoy reading texts that center around the individual and their power. I decided to bring in Ayn Rand’s Anthem into the discussion because it has some very similar concepts and incidences regarding the individual’s power as A Handmaid’s Tale, and I felt like it would strengthen my argument while incorporating a text that I love. Some moments that I am going to use from A Handmaid’s Tale are Offred’s relationship with the Commander as well as her multiple subversive acts throughout the work, including her creation of the tapes. I am also going to use examples from Anthem such as Equality 7-2521’s invention of the light bulb and discovery of the word “I”. These examples, as well as many more found in these works, show that free will cannot be suppressed by government and how important and powerful free will is.
Some things I would like to investigate further are:
- Are there any times where free will is overpowered? What were the circumstances?
- Is the distinction between intentional subversive acts and unintentional subversive acts important when discussing this topic?
- Is there another aspect of free will that I can bring to the discussion to strengthen my argument?