The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood

1237 WordsMar 11, 20175 Pages
The display of a dystopian society is distinctively shown in The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Featuring the Republic of Gilead, women are categorized by their differing statuses and readers get an insight into this twisted society through the lenses of the narrator; Offred. Categorized as a handmaid, Offred’s sole purpose in living is to simply and continuously play the role of a child-bearing vessel. That being the case, there is a persistent notion that is relatively brought up by those leading the Gileadean regime; women have gained more than they have lost. Yet, this is a clearly distorted idea being that women in this society are excessively restricted from freedom. Women are restricted to the freedoms that they once had.…show more content…
Handmaids are no longer able to identify with the name they had lived by throughout their lifetimes. In a sense, this was also the erasure of their previous past and who they used to be. To hear the names of others, handmaids learn discrete ways to communicate with one another. “We learned to lip-read...watching each other’s mouths. In this way, we exchanged names, from bed to bed. Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June.” (4) Ultimately, this exhibits the desperation of women to preserve the aspects of their lives before the creation of the new society. In a way, it serves as a reminder that they were once someone and it’s a way of reliving their past. Women no longer have the privilege of even choosing their own name of whom they want to be identify as. From my understanding, women do not have a choice but to forget their past as it was a taboo, along with their previous name. Freedom was once a familiar ideal but the Republic of Gilead has normalized the notion in which women are restricted and watched of their every movement. It is a common move, as noted in history, to resist the education of the oppressed. Applying this idea to the Gilead society, women were restricted from reading to halt their need for education. “They decided that even the names of shops were too much temptation for us. Now places are known by their signs alone.” (25) This extreme method of suppression reveals the true intentions of the oppressors. In what way does this protect women? It
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