Relationships and Religion in "The Handmaids Tale" by Margaret Atwood

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In the novel The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood the themes of Religion and inter-human relationships are the themes that are most evident in the text. This novel shows the possibility of the existence of an all-powerful governing system. This is portrayed through the lack of freedom for women in society, from being revoked of their right to own any money or property, to being stripped of their given names and acquiring names such as Offred and Ofglen, symbolizing women’s dependant existence, only being defined by the men which they belong to. This portrayal of women demonstrates the idea that individuals are unimportant, that the goals of the society as a whole are more pertinent. “For our purposes, your feet and your hands are not…show more content…
Offred is a part of a society that leaves her deprived of any warm human relationship, and only conforms to the rules set on her because she wants to survive. Having such a lack of freedom makes her crave human affection, and she copes with this by trying to escape reality, while at the same time avoiding the memories of the freedom she once had. Religion is an idea that is also significant in A Season in the Life of Emmanuel by Marie-Claire Blais. This theme is accompanied by hypocrisy, abuse and the need for escape from reality. This novel tells the stories of children growing up in a society in which their lives are not valued. The children in this society are expected to repress the abuse inflicted on them, leaving them to deal with their demons on their own. This abuse is often present in the church and in the reformatories that they are sent to, demonstrating the hypocrisy present in this society. Since these children are not aided in overcoming the obstacles placed in their lives, they search for and begin to find their own ways of escaping reality. For Jean le Maigre, who is very sick but nonetheless is made to go to school and work the family’s land, the escape is found through the writing of stories and poems. Jean le Maigre is also a good example of the search for a reality break in the children, along with Number 7, as they both resort to alcohol to escape from the repression that they felt from the strict religious lifestyle they followed at
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