The Handmaids Tale: Oppression of Women for Male Political Gain

1782 Words8 Pages
The Handmaids Tale is a poetic tale of a woman's survival as a Handmaid in the male dominated Republic of Gilead. Offred portrayed the struggle living as a Handmaid, essentially becoming a walking womb and a slave to mankind. Women throughout Gilead are oppressed because they are seen as "potentially threatening and subversive and therefore require strict control" (Callaway 48). The fear of women rebelling and taking control of society is stopped through acts such as the caste system, the ceremony and the creation of the Handmaids. The Republic of Gilead is surrounded with people being oppressed. In order for the Republic to continue running the way it is, a sense of control needs to be felt by the government. Without control Gilead will…show more content…
When the Handmaids become pregnant things become very dangerous for them. The wives in the caste do not have the power that the Handmaids do and they see that as threatening. They become jealous at such a degree they begin to believe things about the Handmaids. They make the Handmaids out to be the least important and view them as disgusting and vile. They are seen by the wives as encroachers onto their territories, stealing their husbands and their possible pregnancies. They are seen by the Martha’s as despicable, that they chose life as a Handmaid. In their eyes the Handmaid wants to be a Handmaid. The Martha’s believe that a Handmaid loves their life, being able to lust around with other women’s husbands. Women are not the sole bodies in the caste system. Not all men in The Republic of Gilead are higher in the caste system then women, some men live amongst the house maids. Nick is an example of a male working outside but in correlation with the house. Nick is the limo driver for the Commander. Men like Nick are not allowed to have wives or be with any woman in any way. They are low on the caste but they are able to move up faster than women. In the eyes of Gilead men are more likely to change then women. They also have more power to become better. "Women united for a common end! Helping one another in their daily chores as they walk the path of life together, each performing her appointed task" is
Open Document