Power in The Handmaid's Tale Essay example

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Power in The Handmaid's Tale As you read through the handmaid’s tale you see the relationships of the characters develop and the fight for power, however small that glimpse of power may be. The images of power can be seen through out the novel, but there are major parts that stand out to the reader from the aunt’s in the training centre to the secret meetings between the Commander and Offred. The first we see of the struggles of power between people is when the novel opens and we first see the aunts of the red centre with their electric cattle prods and their stern moral teaching and their stern looks. The aunts are given small amounts of power by the male dominated regime, like the ability to carry the cattle prods but no other…show more content…
this is Atwood showing the power of the aunts at their most dangerous as they can control a group of people at blow of a whistle and therefore have total power over the handmaids and if they wanted to they may be able to turn on the male oppressors. The next example of power within the regime is when we first meet Serena Joy at the front door of the Commanders house. Serena Joy displays her power by the way she looks at Offred when she arrives and then does not move aside to let Offred into the house. This is a display of power showing that this house is Serena Joy’s domain and everyone in the house must obey her and that she will not take any disobedience. Serena Joy is also able to beat her handmaid, but with out any implements, Offred tells us of how it is the wives right to beat the handmaids and yet if they kill or seriously injure them the wives can be put to death just as the handmaids or the other men can be; this can also be seen in the chapters on the salvaging as the first people who are executed are two handmaids for murdering or harming their Commanders or his family and the third person to be executed was a wife, Offred tells us that the only reason for her execution would be that she must of harmed her handmaid or her husband. For the wives there is not much power and therefore the affect of it on them is very little, the only affect is that they know they are better than
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