Rebellion for a Better Future Rebellion of an individual occurs when there is a difference of opinion. This conventional trait among society allows diverse ideas to be suggested and added upon for a better future and eventually an all around Utopia. Rebellious attitude is depicted throughout George Orwell’s novel 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale in a subtle, yet powerful way. The faint, disobedient remarks made by their characters suggest their hope in the future generations opposed to the present one.
When a rebellious mindset comes in contact with an oppressed society with strict rules and regulations, the outcome suggests a better future through the realization of mistakes and unity for a common goal. Our society would not be what it is today if it was not for our nation’s past. Athletes, actors, actresses, civil rights activists, and scientists have all impacted our society for the better. They rebelled against the normal, they rebelled against what was thought to be correct, they rebelled against their peers—they did this in order to show the government and its followers what was wrong with their way of control.
Two significant civil rights activists rebelled against the rise of the white male; Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. fought against racial discrimination. Though everyone around them was conforming to the ideas stated by their leaders, Roosevelt and King accomplished staying true to their beliefs, voicing their opinions, and gathering other believers. If it had not been for their defiance our laws may have been different, and our way of life would include segregation and racial discrimination.
Eleanor Roosevelt lived her entire life voicing her opinions on African American and women’s rights (“Eleanor Roosevelt”). On the other hand King lived only about half his life preaching about all types of civil rights (“Martin Luther King, Jr. ”). Both changed the future, so whether a long life is lived or a short life is lived, there is always a way to change the faults in a society. Similar to Eleanor Roosevelt and her fight for women’s rights is the actress Lucille Ball. Lucille Ball was a funny and strong and hard working individual.
Over the course of her two marriages, she built a huge production company named Lucille Ball Productions. During her time, the mid twentieth century, women were still seen as nothing other than housewives. Ball broke out of this stereotype and made a life for herself where she did not have to depend on any male figure. The character she portrayed in her TV sitcom Life with Lucy was a comedic, klutzy, yet strong-minded woman (Bandyopadhyay). Her two roles on and off screen inspired women to stand up for what they deserve.
Lucille Ball rebelled against the typical lifestyle of a woman in the United States, and because of her actions, women fought for their rights and created a more balanced future between men and women. Civil rights, and more specifically the lack of civil rights, are a major topic in every society. Our right to speak our own opinions must not be given to us; it must be earned. Our right to love whomever we desire must not be handed over; it must be acquired. In Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 this theory is put to the test. Winston and Julia are constantly being isolated with everything in life—thought, occupation, housing, love, and lust.
In order to gain their freedom they must rebel against the stronger force, the government. The future of the privileged society depends on it, but not all revolts succeed. Attempting to change the opinions of others takes time, and throughout history, trials and errors have been tested and expelled. We have not reached a utopian society because we are still strategizing. Oceania has not reached a utopian society because as Orwell states, “Our only true life is in the future” (181). The proles’ unity and “immortality” will someday awaken the Party members from their delusion.
Each generation will learn from the generation before that they deserve independence from the government and will pass this information on to the following generation. Comparable to this is the United States’ history. After generations of rebellion, laws were changed and amendments were made to give the common people their rights. “History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations” (Fink). The perfect society is something to reach for but never to gain. Rebellion will always lead to a change but never to a unanimous decision, so the future is always seen as a brighter place.
The future lays in past decisions, such as the decision to end segregation, the decision to organize population growth, or the decision to separate blood family. These choices have come from past generations’ failure and future generations’ desires. The Republic of Gilead in Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale must focus on the reproduction of offspring and nothing else. Men and women do not “make love” anymore. They only have sex for reproduction purposes. Every loved one is taken away from them—husbands, children, parents, etc.
One right that can never be taken away from them is their opinions. Offred rebels against her government with the use of thought and alliance. She believes she will one day see her husband and daughter again, and while Offred dreams of her family, Aunt Lydia dreams of a world where everyone in the Republic of Gilead “will live in harmony together,” and once rebellion by the suppressed women is stopped and population levels are “up to scratch again,” the leaders of the society will “no longer have to transfer [women] from one house to another because there will be enough to go around” (Atwood 162).
Aunt Lydia makes it seem like life will be pleasant, but really, if the women continue to rebel in harmony, as do Offred and Ofglen, generations in the future will slowly begin to regain their freedom similar to the increased freedom of African Americans in the United States. The revolt of a group can only work if common opinions are united and increased upon. Over time the realization of mistakes is brought about because of past comments and opinions.
Trial and error plays a key role in preparing the perfect society. George Orwell and Margaret Atwood describe their characters and conflicts in a way that displays the theme of working towards the best outcome. By voicing our opinions on our society and uniting against the stronger force, we can change what is thought to be right to what actually is the right choice for our future.
Cite this Comparison of 1984 and the Handmaid’s Tale
Comparison of 1984 and the Handmaid’s Tale. (2016, Oct 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/comparison-of-1984-and-the-handmaids-tale/