Atwood’s construction of A Handmaid’s Tale takes a lot of influences from the world of 1984 in order to construct that world from Julia’s perspective. I wished to take into account my reading of 1984 to see just how this affects the portrayal of the characters and the government in both of the novels. Due to the length of each of the novels, I will focus on the specific aspect of sexuality and how the women use it to either connect with society or be isolated from it. Furthermore, there is the connection of the government, specifically how they control the people, through the use or limitation of the peoples’ sexuality. The topic of this paper owes a lot to the construction of Julia in 1984, predominantly how she is a secondary character who has the majority of her scenes focused on her sexually connecting with the novel’s protagonist. The difficulty of this paper will come from isolating the scenes in A Handmaid’s Tale that would best contribute to how the government uses sex to isolate the people; this is due to how the majority of the novel is focused on sexuality. Though this problem is circumvented by focusing on the following questions:
1.) Does the act of marriage contribute to a powerful connection between the two people involved or does the government have a negative effect on it?
2.) How does the government in each novel differ in their procedure for controlling sexuality and how does that affect the mental and societal statuses of the people?
3.) What connections do Julia and Offred form with the people around them and does the use of sex hinder or help these connections?