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Power Is Used by the Strong to Exploit the Weak: Critical Essay

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Throughout ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Blade Runner’, Margaret Atwood and Philip K. Dick explores the theme of power through events that showcase a hierarchy in both texts. Both authors use power to give to the robust to take advantage of the fragile. What is meant by power in the context of each text is that power is used upon dictatorship with fascist leaders forming slaves to satisfy their needs and to exploit the weak.

Central to Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is the depravity of sovereignty that lies within the Republic of Gilead, a city in what used to be in the United States. Now its democratic government has been overthrown and replaced by a totalitarian one. The proprietor of authority that diminishes the lower grade of this state is Gilead and the Commander, both spending their gratitude over dictatorship. The methodology of exploiting the susceptible in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is to create an army of Handmaids to populate the state by making them produce babies. The tough being Gilead and the Commander, and the weak being everyone else. The same utility of control is also running in ‘Blade Runner’.

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Contrarily, in the heart of Philip K. Dick’s ‘Blade Runner’, filled with darkness, neon, and smog driven streets of Los Angeles 2019, the society is built upon a communist hierarchy, where omnipotence is utilized by the prohibitive fanatical to manipulate the vulnerable. In perspective, Tyrell has power over others as he as economic powers to maintain and support all citizen equally inside a hierarchy. He is in the highest class of power as he is generally wealthy and fascist. His dictatorship influences the overall economic view of the dystopian world. Citizens in Los Angeles are generally poor and living in a smog of neon dark streets and poor homes. They have power over replicants as they are more important than them. Replicants serve as slaves towards Tyrell, but have the least amount of authority over the world as they are non-human.

In summary, Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and Philip K. Dick’s ‘Blade Runner’ share the even by applying control over the defenseless. Each leader in both texts share the same traits and authority, meaning that they can be identified as egotistical men. Both texts rely on a communist hierarchy that clearly sums up the economy and society in each setting. Just remember, mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.

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Power Is Used by the Strong to Exploit the Weak: Critical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“Power Is Used by the Strong to Exploit the Weak: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 19 Sept. 2023,
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Power Is Used by the Strong to Exploit the Weak: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Sept 19 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from:
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