In her novel The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood addresses the concept of different expression of romantic love through the eyes of Offred, a woman who has lost almost all her freedom to a repressive, dystopic society. Throughout her struggle against oppression and guilt, Offred's view evolves, and it is through this process that Atwood demonstrates the nature of love as it develops under the most austere of circumstances.
Her belief gives her a false sense of security as well as her unwillingness to rebel due to fear of the Eyes. Her conversations with others are "Praise be," "Blessed be the fruit," and "May the Lord open" it is difficult for Offred or any women to really have a meaningful conversation for fear that anyone is a spy. Everything that Offred does is now part of the norm of society. She doesn't question her duties just does what is expected of her. As Offred begins a secret relationship with Nick she believes she has reclaimed a tiny piece of her past. She becomes addicted to the small amount of companionship from Nick, causing her to turn a blind eye to the injustices going on around her. She feels empowered because it was her own choice. When in reality she did what was expected of her. Using her body in order to produce a child.
Can human live without love? The answer is evidently no. Love can be defined as: the most spectacular, indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone. Margaret Atwood, the author of the outstanding dystopian fiction the handmaid 's tale (1985) had once in her book said: " nobody dies from lack of sex. It 's lack of love we die from.” In this novel, Atwood specifically depicts a society where relationships have been altered, undermined and in many ways forbidden. The key word in the issue of relationships is love. In the Republic of Gilead, a form of theocratic government, women had lost their ability to love. The protagonist Offred is a handmaid whose sole purpose in life is to reproduce a child. Gilead expects its handmaids to have faith in its commandments, but has removed love and hope from them. Women became objects and sex slaves to men. Therefore, the relationships of the protagonist Offred are unhealthy as well as abnormal, yet they are source of hope for Offred to survive from this theocratic form of government. Her relationship with the commander is strained but profitable, her relationship with Serena Joy has lots of tensions and conflicts; and her relationship with Nick is subtle as well as controversial.
One of the many prevailing themes in literature is that power is gained and can be manipulated when restraints are placed on natural desires of the individual. This passage is significant because it is an example of this theme, for it shows how power and manipulation have completely changed and restricted the people, especially women, of Gilead. Due to this, the passage reveals the shared anger that the Handmaids possess, and the cruelty that has been brought upon the society. The use of similes, diction, syntax, and illustrate the impact that this event had on Offred, for she feels such anger towards the unknown man and the crime he has supposedly committed. These literary and rhetorical devices additionally serve to make this event seem as
In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, the idea of women’s bodies as political instruments and elimination of sexual pleasure is explored. The republic of Gilead “depicts a futuristic society in which a brutal patriarchal regime deprives women of power and subjectivity, enslaving them through a sophisticated, ubiquitous apparatus of surveillance” (Cooper 49). Offred is a “girl” who lives with her commander within Gilead. She is surrounded by girls at his house. When one becomes a woman they have had a baby. Any time before they have a baby they are just girls. They are valued only by their ovaries and wombs. They have no freedom
As Offred and Ofglen, stand before the Wall that contains bodies of those who have been hanged by Gilead, they are appalled by the sight. However, Offred forces herself to replace her horror with an emotional “blankness
Overseas females were either not present or presented as prostitutes. This corruption of women in Krebs mind remains, but he still thinks about them frequently. He states, “That was all a lie. It was a lie both ways.”, this demonstrates how, like many other facets of home life, was disenchanted by his service in war. Ernest uses repetition to demonstrate the revision of thought. For Norman, he only wishes he could’ve had what he almost had before he went away. His old sweetheart, Sally did not wait for him and, “...had her house and her new husband, and there was really nothing he could say to her.” O’Brien writes this as a list to convey that Norman feels overwhelmed by how much change has occurred during his absence. Once again, these soldiers feel isolated by their experience, Norman by the time spent away, and Krebs by the things he saw while he was
In many ways, Offred and everyone like her are why Gilead exists. They didn’t resist Gilead’s rise, didn’t band together, and looked out for themselves and their loved ones above the great good. Atwood is telling use that regimes do not rise in back rooms or on the battlefield. They rise when the average person doesn’t stand up and selflessly fight
Serena Joy is the most powerful female presence in the hierarchy of Gileadean women; she is the central character in the dystopian novel, signifying the foundation for the Gileadean regime. Atwood uses Serena Joy as a symbol for the present dystopian society, justifying why the society of Gilead arose and how its oppression had infiltrated the lives of unsuspecting people.
The Handmaid's Tale is written by Margaret Atwood and was originally published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985. The novel is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of a new totalitarian theocratic state society that is terrifying and horrific. Its main concentration is on the subjugation of women in Gilead, and it also explores the plethora of means by which the state and agencies gain control and domination against every aspect of these women's lives. Restrictive dress codes also play an important factor as a means of social order and control in this new society.
O’Brien wrote this story in third person point of view and is complete omniscient. The narrator is unknown never revealing who he is. The thoughts readers can see are the thoughts of Lieutenant Cross, and Kiowa.
The author expresses Offred’s lack of personal identity through the use of repetitions. When observing her room, the narrator asks if “each of [the handmaids] has the same print, the same chair [and] the same white curtains.” (12) This line points out the possibility that everything that handmaids use is standardized. The repetition of the word “same” highlights this. It also emphasises that Offred’s individuality is taken away. The government strengthens its control over the handmaids and other
Now twenty-one years of age, Ona had long ago mastered the art of dodging advances from gentleman callers to the president’s house. Men who often took every opportunity they could to behave in ungentlemanly ways toward her. Her most successful strategy was to keep close to Miss Nelly. When that was not possible she endeavored to never be caught alone in corners. With men who were frequent guests, she knew who to steer clear of, but there were often new callers she had no knowledge of. Some of them abused the General’s generosity with his liquor.
In the essay O'Brien is faced with a conflict, a moral dilemma. He had to decide whether he was either going to go to the war and fight or was he going to run away and avoid the draft. The relationship he had with Berdahl was not of friends or even regular acquaintances. Rather they were
When Cora finds Offred sleeping on the floor, she panics and gets in trouble as a way to cover for Offred. As spring comes to an end, the secret night time meetings of Offred and the Commander becomes more sophisticated as they develop a code for when they want to meet, though it doesn’t always work as Serena is sometimes in the way. Soon, Offred begins to like the Commander, and realizes she is his mistress, which makes the ceremonies awkward. Meanwhile, Offred and Ofglen become friends. It is revealed that Ofglen is a member of the resistance against government and when Offred and Ofglen share the same view on the printed prayers, they trust each other.