Both novels, The Children of Men by P.D. James and The Handmaids Tale by Atwood, M., illustrates a scenario where the future of a society is doomed as a result of fertility dystopias. Set in Great Britain, the children of men novel envisions an infertile future where men and women experience torture, anger, frustrations, and hopelessness on equal measures. The novel envisions a disrupted society defined by sheer anarchy that is supported and sponsored by the existing authority. Primarily, the novel focuses more on the infertile men and how their infertility affects the entire society. The Handmaid's Tale revolves around women who according to Atwood, are reduced to servants, sex slaves, and surrogates. Ideally, women are itemised and discriminated by a controlling, repressive regime.
The Children of Men expedites the fall of human species as a result of universal infertility. Through being faced with the issue of sudden impotence, human species became humiliated and lost hope in its intelligence, knowledge, and power. Ultimately, the society is profoundly changed, and human beings transformed into a doomed society. From the novel, loss of fertility forces human beings to worship and resent animals because of their ability to procreate (James, P.D). As a result, any people disregard humanity and become obsessed and attached to other things that seem to have a normal life. Infertility also creates division between nations and races as well as within the society. In the attempt to find a cure for universal infertility, mistrust among nations increase and the unity created under United Nations falls apart. Across continents and national boundaries, hostility and suspicion arise. The idea that the cure of infertility would be a secret and selective overwhelmed the society and prompted nations to spy on each other. In the long run, the human society becomes dysfunctional, and civilization comes to an end.
Also, the inability of the universe to procreate contributes to dehumanizing abnormalities to individuals sex lives. In Children of Men, attitude on non-elective infertility and its effects are well contrasted before and after the sudden impotence. Before the apocalypse, the author describes how people, especially the west, enjoyed making love and having children. He also explains how pornography, as well as sexual violence in the media and life, had become more explicit before the apocalypse. However, the doomed society interest in sex faded away despite efforts by the authority to encourage sexual intercourse through public porn shops (James, P.D). In this society, sex without procreation proved to be meaningless. The women became more intolerant of the males, and the number of women who got married to men reduced significantly. In fact, many of the marriage ceremonies in this society were of the same sex. From this description, we identify how infertility can create a society of intolerance between men and women.
Another possible scenario resulting from infertility is the establishment of a tyrannical rule by the existing authority. Amid lawlessness and violence, the existing authority can decide to forcefully intrude in peoples lives under the pretense of security. As depicted in the novel, the government subjected all healthy women to a compulsory, humiliating and time-consuming gynecological examination to control any female who might be miraculously pregnant. In this society, law enforcers are cruel and brutal and are under the command of a dictatorial warden (James, P.D). The government encourages or tolerates mass suicides and expulsion of older adults from their native homes. In fact, the well-being and safety of the societys superior minority were realized at the expense of the elderly, handicapped and immigrants through programmes such as euthanasia, eugenics, and genocide. As such, the state of hopelessness, lawlessness, and violence resulting from infertility can create a ruthless and dictatorial form of governance.
The handmaids tale also depicts possible scenarios in a world faced with fertility dystopia. From the book, infertility crises brought forth a rigid Christian regime that facilitated subjugation of women into roles such as reproduction, cleaning, and cooking. As a result, women rights were disregarded by the patriarchal power based on their gender and fertility. In fact, the rigid Christian regime exerted total control over women bodies, and any resistance was met with brutal force including torture and execution. In this society, the regime conducted compulsory medical examination on women to determine their fertility. They also forced to clean up highly toxic wastes which, eventually, contribute to the rising cases of infertility in Gilead. As a result, the few remaining fertile women are forced to have sex with their masters in the presence of the masters wife (Atwood, Magret). Ultimately, lovelessness and absence of free will prevail which destroys the society. From this description, we identify the possibility of religion taking advantage of infertility to subjugate women. Such a scenario can only create anarchy and violation of human rights in society. In case of a catastrophic event that renders women infertile, a futuristic society might face similar events as depicted in The Handmaid's Tale. In such a society, the government can enslave remaining fertile women and convert them to baby-making machines.
Atwood, Magret. "The Handsmaid's Tale." Novelas.Rodriguezalvarez.Com, 2012, http://www.novelas.rodriguezalvarez.com/pdfs/Atwood,%20M.%20%27%27The%20Handmaid%27s%20Tale%27%27-Xx-En-Sp-Xx.pdf.
James, P.D. "The Children of Men." Unife.It, 2017, http://www.unife.it/letterefilosofia/lm.lingue/insegnamenti/letteratura-inglese-ii/programmi-anni-precedenti/programma-desame-2011-2012/P.%20D.%20James-%20The%20Children%20of%20Men-%201994.pdf.
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