In today’s news we see many disruptions and inconsistencies in society, and, according to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, humankind might be headed in that direction. The deterioration of society is a concept often explored biologically in novels, but less common, is the effect on everyday social constructs such as the position of women as a item that can be distributed and traded-in for a ‘better’ product. The Handmaid’s Tale elaborates the concept that, as societal discrimination towards women intensifies, gender equality deteriorates and certain aspects of societal freedoms are lost. Offred’s experience with serving Gilead demonstrates a victim’s perspective and shows how the occurring changes develope the Republic.
In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood depicts a near-future world in which Christian theonomy has overthrown the United States Government, and all of the women’s rights are taken from them. The novel is told from the perspective of a woman who is living in the new world and how she survives it, as well as how she ended up in this horrendous position. Atwood’s novel has been read by millions of individuals throughout the years, leaving many with different perspectives on it. This critical response will examine how liberals and conservatives have interpreted the novel in different manners.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a story told in the voice of Offred, who is the character of the “handmaid”, which is described best by women who are being forced and used for reproduction because they can make babies. In the Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood uses symbolism, which is the use of symbols to represent ideas, to show the reader the handmaid’s role in society of Gilead. The handmaids were women who had broken the law of Gilead, and forced into having sex and reproducing for the higher class. They had no rights and were watched constantly so this created a very nervous atmosphere. This horrible way of living is most likely why Offred never fully made the reader aware of the horrible life she was forced to live because
In “The Handmaid 's Tale” by Margaret Atwood, there is the addressing of freedom, abuse of power, feminism, rebellion and sexuality. The audience is transported to a disparate time where things normalized in our current society are almost indistinguishable. Atwood uses each character carefully to display the set of theme of rebellion within the writing, really giving the reader a taste of what the environment is like by explaining detailed interactions, and consequences as well as their role in society.
In Gilead, women are treated like objects and all of their rights are taken away from them. They cannot vote, hold property or jobs, read, or do anything else that might cause them to become rebellious or independent, and undermine the men, or the state. Even the shops where the handmaids go to buy food do not have names on for them to read, just pictures. The only thing important about a woman now is her ovaries and her womb, as they are reduced to just their fertility.
Women in the past were perceived as insignificant because of the society’s inability to embrace and acknowledge women as of equal importance as men and of those who are wealthy. In Margret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, the character by the name of Offred, is a handmaid and tells her perspective of the dystopian life in the community of Gilead. The women of 1985 serve the males and the rich if they are not a wealthy maiden themselves. However, regardless of class, women are always discerned as of lesser significance than men. This is manifested through Offred’s observation that although the women who are a Commander’s wife are entitled of higher authority than the handmaids, they are still seen as insignificant. In order to give them
Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale, constructs a near-future dystopia where human values do not progress and evolve, but instead become completely diminished and dominated under the Republic of Gilead. This powerful and secure new government gains complete political control and begins to abuse their power by forcing fertile women to reproduce. The Gileadean society is enforced by many Biblical laws, morals, and themes, yet the Gileadian religious ideologies are based on only a few specifically selected Biblical passages that are taken literally. The selection of certain passages in the Bible helps control and manipulate the women that are being enslaved by giving them a false sense of justification and security for the treatment they
In the Republic of Gilead, children are seen as lawful possessions of wealthy, powerful couples like the Commander and his wife. As such, women called ‘handmaids’ have been reduced to two basic functions, breeding and buying groceries. Moreover, since women are prohibited to vote, write or read, the grocery store labels all of the products
In addition to the important roles that women play in the regime, this setting also portrays the will and intelligence of women. Offred seeks knowledge as she meets with the Commander; she longs for touch and intimacy as she risks everything to spend her nights with Nick. Moira strives to leave the confines of the regime as she continuously found ways to escape. Even as she is recaptured, she chooses to stay at Jezebel’s to live. Although given death if no child is beared, Handmaids voluntarily “prayed for emptiness, so we would be worthy to be filled: with grace, with love, with self-denial, semen and babies” (194). Despite their role to bear children and given death if they failed to do so, essentially, Handmaids have a choice in whether they accept that death or survive by finding ways to get pregnant. These instances show that women are not merely simple creatures who are controlled by men because what they do is still a decision of their own. Nevertheless, all of the progress that women fought for is gone: their reproductive rights, economic rights, social rights. Women are not allowed to get abortions, and they are forced into bearing children for their Commanders. Women have no outside jobs; they merely complete chores for their household. They are given no social power; they are monitored for what they say and what they can do in public. Such strict confines of
A character in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale that attempted to maintain her sense of power and identity is Offred. She endeavored to keep her sense of power by rebelling. In Chapter 17, she sneaked into the hallway of her household, thinking her actions were “entirely illegal” (97). Standing in the hall, Offred said, “I like this. I am doing something, on my own.” (97). As a result of Offred sneaking out without anyone knowing, she “liked” it and felt powerful in the moment. The men and women in charge over her could not fully hold her down; she was doing something on her own for a change. Her ability to rebel in anyway gave her a sense of satisfaction, freedom, and power in a society that attempted to take them
Imagine a country where choice is not a choice. One is labeled by their age and economical status. The deep red cloaks, the blue embroidered dresses, and the pinstriped attire are all uniforms to define a person's standing in society. To be judged, not by beauty or personality or talents, but by the ability to procreate instead. To not believe in the Puritan religion is certain death. To read or write is to die. This definition is found to be true in the book, The Handmaid's Tale (1986) by Margaret Atwood. It is a heartbreaking story of one young woman and her transformation into the Gilead society, the society described above. In the book, we meet Offred, the narrator of the story. This
Books that are banned or challenged often have controversial topics but many don't consider the positive effects of these books. The Handmaid's Tale is an example of this because despite including uncomfortable topics, it also offers meaningful themes and ideas.
In the Republic of Gilead, Wives are simply wives, they are there for their husbands, whether it means being loyal to them, taking care of their children, and being their cohort. But, when they can’t carry their husband’s descendants, they are assigned a Handmaid, one of the few fertile women able to bear children in the poisonous environment full of toxic waste. This is what happens to the Wives in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Indubitably, some devoted Wives, like Serena Joy, have a tough time adapting to their new lives in Gilead so they decide to put all their anger towards the people around them.
Intro: The Handmaid's tale by Margaret Atwood is about a dystopian American society. The book is set in a disclosed future and deals with conflicts of the right of women we do not see today. Morality is based on a person's views of good vs evil. In the book The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood makes her character flawed in a sense of morality to show her rebellion against her society. The reader is then able to see when the charters feels uncomfortable or unethical.
A Critical Analysis of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” In this dystopia novel, it reveals a remarkable new world called Gilead. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, explores all these themes about women who are being subjugated to misogyny to a patriarchal society and had many means by which women tried to gain not only their individualism and their own independence. Her purpose of writing this novel is to warn of the price of an overly zealous religious philosophy, one that places women in such a submissive role in the family. I believe there are also statements about class in there, since the poor woman are being meant to serve the rich families need for a child. As the novel goes along the narrator Offred is going between the past and