The Characters of Women in The Handmaid's Tale and The Bell Jar

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Women in The Handmaid's Tale and The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath's renowned autobiographical legend "The Bell Jar" and Margaret Atwood's fictional masterpiece "The handmaid's tale" are the two emotional feminist stories, which basically involve the women's struggle. Narrated with a touching tone and filled with an intense feminist voice, both novels explore the conflict of their respective protagonists in a male dominated society. In spite of several extraordinary similarities in terms of influential characterization and emotive themes, both novels are diverse as far as their respective style, structure and setting is concerned. While Plath's preference of frequent flashback is admirable and absorbing, Atwood's choice of
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While, the shock of such dreadful experience leaves a profound impact on Esther, the protagonist of "The Bell Jar" resulting in her mental downfall, it is common for Offred, the protagonist of "The Handmaid's Tale" to uncensoredly accept the reality of her world, as sexual involvement is her profession. "We are for breeding purposes. There is supposed to be nothing entertaining about us, no room is to be permitted for the flowering of secret lusts. We are two-legged wombs, that's all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices (The Handmaids Tale, p. 176)." and "I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will...There were limits, but my body was nevertheless lithe, single, solid, one with me...Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I'm a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I, am and glows red within its translucent wrapping (The Handmaid's Tale, p.95)." These two are the outstanding quotes narrated by Offred, showing her acceptance to the actuality. In addition both novels convey similar themes of sexual exploitation and restricted role of women in the society. "The Bell Jar" represents sexual exploitation in 1950's which is true to a certain extent, since the origin of pornography due to the impact of movies and "sexual revolution" which became rampant during this era. On the contrary, it is indeed, ironic

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