Handmaid's Tale

1171 WordsMar 14, 20055 Pages
The central social hierarchy within the novel is the gender hierarchy, placing men in a position of extreme power. This is evident in every aspect of the book, as the entire Gilead society is male dominated. The Commander is at the top of the hierarchy and is involved with designing and establishing the current society taking control of a nation of women, and exploiting their power by controlling what is taught, what they can teach themselves and the words that they can use. Soon all of the women will become brainwashed, simply because it is made nearly impossible to defy the rules The Eye is the next highest up and are used as spies to keep the society the way it is and make sure no one consorts against it. Angel's are next because they…show more content…
Its official vocabulary incorporates religious terminology and references to the bible. House servants are Marthas in reference to the woman who helped Jesus in the New Testament; the local police are "Guardians of the Faith", the soldiers are "Angels", and the Commanders are officially "Commanders of the Faithful." The stores have biblical names like All Flesh, Milk and Honey Loaves and Fishes. Even the cars have biblical names like Behemoth, Whirlwind, and Chariot. Using religious terminology to describe people, ranks, and businesses blinds people and makes their society seem holy. It provides a constant reminder that the founders of Gilead insist they act on the authority of the Bible. If I lived in Gilead my strategy would be depend upon my position in society. If I was the commander my privileges allow me to take greater risks and get away with it. I could expand my power by eliminating other commander with blackmail about them being sterile. Or rally them towards my cause. As a commander the most can be accomplished. As an eye my duties are less clear and I have freedom to roam society. I think the eye's have a good job and I would stay there. As an angel my objective would be to become a eye or commander. To do my job and do it well enough for a upper ranking citizen to notice. Women on the other hand have very few options as stated by the book. Martha's can do the most damage

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