Frankenstein and The Handmaid’s Tale – Religious Quotes

The Handmaid’s Tale – using Biblical words wrong – Aunt Lydia’s slogan – “Gilead is within you”- Chapter 5, page 33 – blasphemous, parody of Christ’s words to ‘The Kingdom of God is within you’- “All flesh is weak. All flesh is grass, I corrected her in my head.” – Chapter 8, page 55 (referring to Aunt Lydia)- Shows the ways Gilead works to embed its ideas in everybody’s lives- Contributes to the oppressive tone of the novel- Euphemisms and Neologisms shows that language is destabilised, adding to the anxieties and worries as a part of the Gileadean life
The Handmaid’s Tale – Officers as Angels – Handmaid’s naming officers as angels to give authority – Ironic as they are the furthest from angelic – Themes of voyeurism
Frankenstein – Biblical allusions – “Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus” character from Greek myth who brought fire to man and was punished forever by the God’s for sharing knowledge that mortals were not supposed to have- “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clayTo mould Me man? Did I solicit theeFrom darkness to promote me?” – Paradise Lost (A book about Satan being kicked out of heaven after trying to assume too much power)- Playing God (Modern Prometheus)- Paradise Lost – retelling Genesis – not just evil (explores the concept of free will and destiny (parallels to Frankenstein)
The Handmaid’s Tale – Importance of Religion “Give me children, or else I die.” – Epigraph – Reference to the story of Rachel and Leah where fertile servants can carry on adulterous relationships to allow infertile women like the Commander’s Wife to have families- The Commander reads from reads from Genesis the same lines that make the book’s epigraph, justifying and moralising the crude intercourse that will take place
The Handmaid’s Tale – Puritans ideals and laws “There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from.” – Chapter 5, page 34-Free will and predestination – Contrast between life before Gilead, and after (explore further in freedom and hope)
Frankenstein – Biblical Imagery – “creator and source” – Chapter 4, page 43- Victor describes the monster as “beautiful”, yet repulsive with his “yellow skin” and “teeth of pearly whiteness” – Chapter 5, page 45- “A thing such as even Dante could not have conceived” – Chapter 5, page 46-Victor is defining the importance of his success in re-animating life- Victor defines himself as a God (God is the only one who can create life – besides birth)- Shelley contrasts God’s creation of Adam to Victor’s creation of the monster- Victor sees his creation as beautiful and yet repugnant, versus the creation story taken from the Bible in which God sees creation of Adam as ‘good’

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