The Handmaid's Tale Essay

1732 WordsNov 8, 20177 Pages
Brenda Guillen Professor XXX Class November 8, 2017 Then vs. Now, the Realities of of Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in Modern Day America The novel "The Handmaid's Tale" written by Margaret Atwood in 1985 is a fictional novel about Gilead, a place ruled by male religious fundamentalists who rape women labeled as handmaids to bear children for infertile wives. The society encourages the enslavement of women to control their reproductive rights. While Atwood’s novel depicts a fictional place, it describes a very real reality in modern day America. In America and other parts other world, women are constantly treated as inferior to men, in regards to workplace pay, civil rights, and even access to their own reproductive…show more content…
Women in Gilead worked different jobs designed to fuel the population of Gilead. They formed their own alliances and hostilities, but never rose against men who raped, abused and suppressed them (Weigel 2). Atwood wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ not from her own imagination, but from events that took place in her times based on the state of the international politics (Jones 2). She recalls how her novel drew inspiration from the political stories of her time and how she took clips from the newspapers about “falling birth rates, repressive policies on contraception and abortion” (Weigel 5). To illustrate, in the 1980’s, the President of Romania banned birth control in the country as an effort to increase birth rates. The country, like the fictional one presented in the Handmaid’s Tale, were experiencing the results of climate change and pollution and wanted an increase in the population. On the home front, Americans were experiencing epidemics like AIDS, the carcinogenic effects of nuclear waste accidents and the increase of polygamy and the Mormon sect. Today we still deal with some of these issues. A future similar to the one depicted in Gilead is possible. In fact, traits of it are in play in 2017, as it was in America during the Reagan era (Weigel 7). The society in "The Handmaid's Tale" is close to becoming a reality as American birth rates are falling as many women can't afford to have children, are incapable of producing children, or focusing on

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