Paragraph Practice



In Henry James’ novel Washington Square, James uses run-on monologue, repetition of “you”, and stereotyping to expose Dr Sloper’s sexist point of view. First of all, in his conversation with Mrs Montgomery, Sloper hijacks the discussion and doesn’t give her the space to respond. James creates this effect by using run-on sentences which do not give Mrs Montgomery the opportunity to interrupt. He also employs many commas which create the feeling that Sloper always has something to add without questioning his perspective. The punctuation is declarative, primarily composed of periods and exclamation points, indicating that he is convinced he is right. Secondly, James has Dr Sloper repeatedly use the pronoun “you” in order to create a tone of judgement. Essentially, he accuses Mrs Montgomery of being a woman and uses “you” to blame her gender for making her a victim to Morris’ manipulation. For example, James writes: “You women are all the same! (…) you were made to be its handmaids and victims.” Here, Sloper generalizes Mrs Montgomery as a simple “woman.” His excessive use of “you” creates an incriminating image, it is meant to project

Quote Analysis warm-up

The Doctor eyed her a moment. “You women are all the same! But the type to which your brother belongs was made to be the ruin of you, and you were made to be its handmaids and victims. The sign of the type in question is the determination—sometimes terrible in its quiet intensity—to accept nothing of life but its pleasures, and to secure these pleasures chiefly by the aid of your complaisant sex. Young men of this class never do anything for themselves that they can get other people to do for them, and it is the infatuation, the devotion, the superstition of others, that keeps them going. These others in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are women. What our young friends chiefly insist upon is that someone else shall suffer for them; and women do that sort of thing, as you must know, wonderfully well.” The Doctor paused a moment, and then he added abruptly, “You have suffered immensely for your brother!”

History: Fragile Democracies – Totalitarian Regimes

Rise of Totalitarian Regimes

Video used for class exercise:


A higher level English language vidio about totalitarian regimes and how they arose during the period of the Great Depression :

Fascism in the UK during the 1930s:

Link to an article about Harold Mosley:

Mosley Overview

1930s fascism in the UK Mosley

Film footage from 1936 about The Battle of Cable Street when thousands of East Londoners stood in the way of a fascist march:


New History Theme: Great Britain in WW2

September 3rd 1939;

King George VI delivered this speech on radio on September 3rd, 1939 addressing Britain’s involvement in World War II. His Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue was in the room during this radio broadcast that offered a great solace to the British people during a terrifying time.

(Click on Regarder sur You Tube to activate the link):

Evacuation of Children in 1939:



Dunkirk Evacuation: 26th May – 4th June 1940

More details here:

The Battle of Britain: late summer 1940:

More details here:


Saturday 7th September, 1940: the Blitz begins:

Colour footage of the Blitz:








Simile Chart, The Handmaid’s Tale

SIMILE (quote + page number) ANALYSIS (what does it contribute to the reader’s understanding, what techniques/devices are used, what is revealed about character or theme) Student Name
“Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting to the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloudcover.”  p.201 Margaret Atwood uses antithesis to show the moon how bright it is during the night. Owen 
”buttered, I lie on my single bed, flat like a piece of toast”
” It makes the men look like dolls on which faces have not yet been painted, like scarecrows, which in à way is what they are, since they are meant to scare.” (p. 38) The objectification shows an important aspect of the book. It represents the position of those who don’t follow rules in society. If they don’t follow rules then they show the exemple as dolls that can be sacrificed when not conformed, manipulated till the beginning to the end. Used for one goal, maintain power in place.  Clément 
”Or I would help Rita, to make the bread, sinking my hands into that soft resistant warmth which is so much like flesh.“ p17 Offred doesn’t have any pleasure to help for the community tasks : she compares the texture she is touching (bread) to flesh which is a degrading comparaison.  Irénée  
 « It’s like a fart in church. » (p94) The situation is uncomfortable, Serena Joy doesn’t want to be heard crying and Offred is trying to stop herself from laughing just like a fart in church which you don’t want people to hear and for others that are trying to hold there laughter. Esther 
“I will  Offred  Victorious Victor
“I wait, washed, brushed like a prize pig” (p75)  This similie is very important as it shows how the handmaid’s, and particularly offered, feels about their place in the society. It is one of the first time that she clearly considers her placas as a very degrading state for a human being. But at the same time she is in the consideration of being a prize and is happy to be considered valuable. Q  Gatien
”I can see it as I go down the stairs, round, convex, a pier-glass, like the eye of a fish” (p15) Offred feels watched by an eye. The eye is the society. Everywhere she goes, everything she does, is controlled. She doesn’t have any liberty and private time, She is paranoid, she sees eyes everywhere and think that even walls are listening to her. Carla  
”like the eye of a fish, and myself in it like a distorted shadow, a parody of something, some fairytale figure…” (p15) Offred created a fictional world in which has full control of the plot in some part of her mind in order to maintain a good mental state and not a have a mental breakdown.
 “It’s like a party she couldn’t go to.” p141 Cora wants to be included and is feeling left out, because Martha’s aren’t allowed to go to the birthing ceremonies. The birthing ceremonies are of great importance showing of the Handmaid’s failed or not.  Melina 
”They pick him up and heave him into the back of the van like a sack of mail.” 


Ever since Gilead became a reality people are treated more like objects rather than actual people. They do not care if they get hurt. Pablo 
It was like being in an elevator cut loose at the top. Falling, falling, and not knowing when you will hit. Offref remembers when she and her family tried to escape across the Canadian border but were caught. She compare this moment of betrayal to the terror of being in an elevator whose cable has been cut at the top.  Mamadou 
Not all of you will make it through. Some of you will fall on dry ground or thorns. Some of you are shallow-rooted. . . think of yourselves as seeds. . . Offred talked about the comparison between the handmaid and the seed made by the aunts, which evokes the biblical simile of seed sowing and how these seeds grow in different soils. Lola  
”We are containers, it’s only the inside of our bodies that are important. The outside can become hard and wrinkled, for all they care, like the shell of a nut” (p.107) This quote shows how unimportant and non-essential the handmaid’s physical appearance and mental health is to the government of Gilead. It shows how the society of Gilead only cares about the handmaids’ ability to bear children, and how they are put aside and neglected, and treated like objects. Zara 
 ”Surprising how much like a small, begging child [Rita] makes me feel, simply by her scowl, her stolidity; how importunate and whiny.” (p. 214)  This simile illustrates how Offred is not free in her choices, how inferior she is to anyone from a hierarchical point of view. It takes her back to childhood, when she had to ask her mother to do or have something. She is not treated like a woman, but really like an irresponsible child.  Clémence  


History Chapter 2: Totalitarian Regimes


This chapter surveys the characteristics of totalitarian regimes (ideology, forms of adhesion, use of violence and terror for coercion and control devices) and their consequences on the European order. You will compare and contrast the characteristics of Stalin’s USSR and Nazi Germany and consider how ‘totalitarianism’ differs from ‘authoritarianism’.

Key Questions

  1. How did totalitarian regimes exploit the economic crisis in order to gain and maintain power in the 1930s?
  2. How important was the role of ideology and coercion in the consolidation of power in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union?
  3. How can we explain popular support for the regimes in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany?
  4. How effective were the regimes in maintaining their power and control?
  5. Compare and contrast the characteristics of the Soviet and Nazi regimes.

Video resource:

Watch this 15 minute video for a clear overview of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany – it also covers two of the points de passage: the Ukrainian Famine and the Spanish Civil War:

Main History Chapter 2 Powerpoint:

T° History Theme 1 Chp2

Comparison of USSR and Nazi Germany Powerpoint:

USSR and NAZI Germany Compared

Activity (with partner):

Totalitarian OB Partner work


Feedback (in note form) of students’ responses to the collaborative exercises on Stalin’s and Hitler’s regimes:

1. Using examples, justify why the regime you have researched can be described as totalitarian


A Totalitarian regime is a form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state. That notion also is associated with propaganda and censorship which Hitler did during his campaign in 1933. The Nazi Party strived to be strict and therefore, have a strong hold over Germany in order to bannish all political parties, and most importantly communists, so they could have more power. However, this led to the reduction of individuals’ liberty which meant they could no longer be able to think and vote for others than nazis. Trade unions, which could be a source of resistance, were also abolished by them. And to finally control the germans from its roots, the education was controlled and formed mini-nazis throughout a biased transmission of knowledge.


When a government is Totalitarian it means it theoretically does not permit individual freedom and lowers all aspects of life to the authority of the state. When Hitler first came to power and became chancellor in 1933, he quickly established his party in the political life. In February 1933, the Reichstag was dissolved and a new election was called. This event was used by the Nazis as a pretext to ban the communist party. A month later in March, Hitler assumed full constitutional powers and in July the Nazi party became the only official party. The Nazi party didn’t permit individual freedom as many religions were forbidden, some ethnies were persecuted and political, public opinions were suppressed. Hitler and the Nazis installed their government, banishing all other parties and controlling all parts of the economical, social and political life. The Nazi regime didn’t hesitate to use violence for justice on those who didn’t approve of their ideology. Also the Nazi regime had a political police called the Gestapo which was feared by all. The Nazis spread their ideology by using propaganda and also creating a youth organisation that was mandatory. The Nazi regime was a totalitarian regime as it had a single powerful leader, authorized only one party (it’s own), a political police, control over society, and used terror in order to maintain their sovereignty.


TOTALIRIAN REGIME : form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state. doc p 383: “a totalitarian regime is one in which there is dictatorial rule in one party state which totally controls all activities (economic, political, social, intellectual and cultural) and directs them towards achieving the state goals.” And so, when Stalin took over in 1927, he wanted to build the power of the Party within the USSR. His regime was totalitarian because only one party was powerful, no one was safe. The state attempted to indoctrinate everybody with the party ideology. They used violence, physical terror and mental terror to crush the opposition and keep the regime in power. So, people had no rights they were always watched.

2a. How did the Nazi regime exploit the economic crisis in order to gain and maintain power in 1930s? 

  • Nazis implemented a propaganda campaign to take advantage of the crisis.
  • Hitler also attributed many of Germany’s ills to the Jews who he held as responsible for Germany’s defeat in WW1.
  • The unpopular French occupation of the Ruhr also contributed to Germany’s economic weaknesses and made the Weimar Republic seem weak – the offer of a strong Nazi alternative as a government thus appeared even more attractive in the eyes of voters.
  • The 1929 economic crisis led to factory closures in Germany thus exacerbating its unemployment problem (reaching a new height of 6 million).
  • As a result of all these problems The government was criticized mostly by the working class and the industrialists for not improving the situation making the Weimar Republic lose support
  • The Nazi suggested new alternatives and solution which attracted all levels of society. The Nazi party had many different ideas to fix the problem such as: ridding Germany of Jesuits, Freemasons, Jews, and Marxists, overthrowing the Versailles settlement and creating the Nazi private army which would give small wages and uniform to the soldiers helping solve  unemployment.
  • In addition to all these reforms, Hilter was a great politician that knew exactly what to say and how to portray his ideas to the masses. Because of fear of communism (which brought industrialists and landlords on his side because he was agains communism) and socialism + unemployment, Hitler and the Nazi party were able to come into power by grabbing the attention of everyone with their ideas and notions, which would have been more difficult if the population wasn’t as desperate due to the economy plummeting.


How did the USSR’s regime exploit the economic crisis in order to gain and maintain power in 1930s? 

After WW1 industrial production remained low, Stalin believed a rapid rise in industrial production was vital. This also offered an advantage because industrialization meant more urban workers who were more likely to support the Communist Party than the rural peasants.

Stalin implemented Five Year Plans with clear targets and successfully increased production (steel, oil, iron, coal etc) thus making the USSR a modern industrial power and providing jobs.

2b. How important was the role of ideology and coercion in the consolidation of power in Stalin’s USSR?

Stalin used force to frighten the mass of the population into obedience (via mass arrests).

As a further example of coercion, Communism was applied to all aspects of life (e.g. farms were shared, families also lived together in the the same houses and building) and this greatly extended the reach and power of the State thus contributing to the consolidation of Stalin’s power.

During the 1930s Stalin tightened his grip on the Party by purges of dissidents.

A Great Terror was implemented between 1936 and 1938 – estimates suggest approximately 3 million were executed and sent to labour camps. Hundreds of important officials were also arrested.

How important was the role of ideology and coercion in the consolidation of power in Nazi Germany?

The election campaign of 1933 was extremely violent – Nazi supporters wrecked rival political party meetings.

Having Nazis in charge of local government all over the country (particularly Prussia, the largest German State) also gave them control and access to the Police.

The Reichstag was subsequently destroyed by fire and this was blamed on the Communists as a means of stirring up fear.

2c. How can we explain popular support for the regime in Nazi Germany?

The Nazi Party was effectively the only political party.

They held huge rallies, press conferences and made radio broadcasts + employed mass advertising campaigns to attract and maintain popular support.

How can we explain popular support for the regime in the USSR?

Exceptional workers were rewarded (known as the Stakhanovite movement after Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov, who was credited for mining 102 tons of coal in less than 6 hours (14 times his quota) on 31 August 1935.

There was a great deal of free education, there were free meals in workspaces, and free clothes in workspaces.

More production made it feel like they had more, and more production meant more money, and the more money people collectively make, the more money people individually receive when this was divided between them.

2d.   How effective was the regime you have researched in maintaining their power and control?

Nazi Germany: 

Hitler used the Reichstag Fire as a pretext to passing the ENABLING LAW on 23 March 1933. It stated the government could introduce laws without the approval of the Reichstag for the next four years, ignore the Reichstag and the constitution.

The govt tried to control as many aspects of life as possible – all other political parties were banned, the state governments (Landers) lost all power since their functions were taken over by a Nazi Special Commissioner, the Civil Service was purged of all Jews and anyone opposing the State, Trade Unions were abolished, school textbooks rewritten to fit with Nazi theory, a Hitler Youth organization was created in which children were taught that their first loyalty was to Hitler and not the family. All communications and media were also brought under the control of the minister of propaganda, Dr Joseph Goebbels.


Massive investment in education (in 1930 the govt announced all children aged 8 to 11 must be enrolled in schools and consequently the number of pupils increased from 13 million to 20 million between 1929 and 1931). Orthodox soviet thinking was promoted.

There was a cultural revolution from 1929-31 under which the State mobilized artists, writers and musicians to extol virtues such as hard work in order to raise morale and inspire people to great efforts.

Cinema was also employed as a means of propaganda (eg the work of Sergei Eisenstein in films such as Battleship Potemkin).


High quality student essays on Totalitarian Regimes:

Two examples of well constructed, well researched and logical argued essays with sound conclusions:

Totalitarian Regimes Comparison Essay Example 1

Totalitarian Regimes Essay Example 2