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Books That Compare To The Handmaid’s Tale

1984 By George Orwell

Both Protagonists are beaten down by the totalitarian regime making them willing to do anything in their power to survive. Additionally, the idea of surveillance is very similar. In both books the characters are constantly being watched by the government. In The Handmaids Tale it is the ‘eyes’ that watch over the population and in 1984 it is ‘Big Brother’. Both of these create fear and force the citizens to conform to what the government want them to do as they may well be being watched all the time.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The ideas surrounding birth are very different. In The Handmaids Tale contraceptives, abortion and IVF are all forbidden and are punishable by death. This is because of the religious beliefs of ‘The Sons Of Jacob’. However, in Brave New World women no longer get pregnant as all children are grown in a lab by the government, this is done so that the children are conditioned to fit into their designated role in society. Abortions are encouraged and the idea of becoming pregnant of having a child of you own is deemed as disgusting.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The main similarity between these two books is that in both groups of being are being used against their will by the government to benefit other people. In The Handmaids Tale it is the Handmaids who are being used for their wombs to deliver babies to other people and in Never Let Me Go it is the donors who’s organs will be taken off them against their will to be given to other people to cure diseases such as cancer.

The Madadam Trilogy

Both The Handmaids Tale and the Madadam trilogy are written by Margaret Atwood which means they do have similar themes throughout. The main ones are that in both there is a destructed environment and the risk of the human population being wiped out. In the Handmaids Tale the risk comes from infertility but in the Madadam trilogy the risk comes from a plague that is destined to wipe out the human population. Additionally, there is an aspect of infertility in the madadam trilogy as the blissplus pill can be altered to make people infertile when it is necessary.

The Children Of men by P.D. James

In both The Handmaids Tale and The Children Of Men fertility is a main theme. Infertility forms a base for both of these books. In both books infertility is caused by a ravished environment and you could argue that it is the infertility that causes the government to take measures that contribute the an overall totalitarian government. However, In The Handmaids Tale it is the men that are infertile and in The Children Of Men is is the women that are infertile.


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