Thinking about the importance and significance of food respective to our health, ethnic culture and society can cause cavernous, profound, and even questionable thoughts such as: “Is food taken for granted?”, “Is specialty foods just a fad or a change in lifestyle?”, and even “Is food becoming the enemy.” Mark Bittman, an established food journalist, wrote an article called “Why take food seriously?” In this article, Bittman enlightens the reader with a brief history lesson of America’s appreciation of food over the past decades. This history lesson leads to where the social standing of food is today and how it is affecting not only the people of America, but also the rest of the world.
From the outset of 'The Handmaids Tale' the reader is placed in an unknown world, where the rights and freedom of women have been taken away. We follow the narrative journey of a handmaid, named Offred.
The narrator is the serving doctor of a ship docked at Smyrna, in the midst of a scene where he is keeping check on the women prisoners of war. A lot of these women were pregnant, with many among these, giving birth to dead children. There is a possibility that these women were raped by the conquering soldiers, and were impregnated, and were continually assaulted sexually so that their babies died in their wombs. These women were not mentally stable, and the dead children made them scream in agony.
Poverty and hardship are shown to create vulnerability in female characters, particularly the female servants, allowing powerful men to manipulate and sexually abuse them. Kent illustrates how poverty perpetuates maltreatment and abuse in a society like Burial Rites using the characters of Agnes’ mother Ingveldur and Agnes. Agnes’ mother is forced to make invidious choices as her children are “lugged along” from farm to farm, where she is sexually exploited by her employers. In spite of these circumstances, Agnes’ mother is commonly referred to as a whore in their society which abhors female promiscuity yet disregards male promiscuity as a harmless character trait; as in the case of Natan, who is merely “indiscreet” despite all his philandering. Born into poverty, Agnes experiences similar sexual coercion and manipulation from her “masters” and yet is labelled “a woman who is loose with her emotions and looser with her morals”. The severe poverty of Agnes is explicitly demonstrated to the reader by Kent through the intertextual reference of her entire belongings - a very dismal, piteous list to be “sold if a decent offer is presented”. Furthermore, Kent contrasts the situation of Agnes, a “landless workmaid raised on a porridge of moss and poverty”, to the comparative security Steina has experienced using a rhetorical question from
The authenticity of historical recounts can often be questioned as they are often biased and consist purely of opinions and memories. The Handmaid’s Tale explores the ambiguity of truth Through ‘The Historical Notes’, Atwood comments on the fallibility
Even though the women who can bear children are “cherished”, the babies are not which can be seen when babies are referred to as “shredders” and “unbabies.” Furthermore, it is interesting that the babies are not “cherished”, but the women who can bear children are because it is illegal to have an abortion and can lead to the doctor being killed who performed it. If the handmaids do not get pregnant within three months then they move down in the hierarchy. It is argued who has it worst in the society, however they all share something in common, being oppressed. The handmaids are not allowed to read, go out into public on their own and even have access to everyday things such as lotion. It is seen as vain and people say, “who are they trying to impress?” when they use such items. Offred steals butter to use as a substitute for lotion because she does not have access to it. Lastly, their names perfectly symbolize their oppression: Offred is Fred’s handmaid; she is “of Fred.” Everyday liberties people take for granted and this dystopia shows what it would be like to live under these harsh laws that can lead to execution.
The section of “jezebels” is significant in the novel of the handmaids tale, as it provides different views as to the importance of women, they roles etc, compared to the rest of the novel. This is one point amidst many which I will discuss in this essay. One of the most important issues that the “jezebels” sequence offers
Salvagings are also a horrible concept used by Atwood. All Handmaid's and other women in the society are forced to attend the hangings of fellow women, often arranged on the nooses by their colours so they look "pretty." A harsh warning not to step out of line. Also occasionally during the salvagings a rapist or murderer is thrown to the handmaid's who rip him apart with their own hands, or feet, or teeth. The unthinkable is thought of for punishments in the Handmaid's tale.
Apart from illegal substance possession, Serena and some of her fellow wives were revealed to have organised secret liaisons between their handmaids and fertile men, hurrying the procreation process. This was often done without the knowledge of their husbands, many of whom were suspected to be sterile in any case. However, despite the unlikelihood of any offspring produced by the husbands, it is not right by Gilead and its ideals, for the wives to be taking steps to defy the laws set down for the good of the people and the nations survival. These wives are acting for their own gains and desires, not for the good of the handmaids. The handmaids are placed in a household with the assurance of protection from the wife. The wives are supposed to act as mentors and guardian angels, shielding and caring for the handmaid under their roof, not throwing her at the closest man with the highest viable sperm count. The wives have a strong desire to have children, even via other women, so as to feel power or superiority over fellow women of equal stature. They ensure the provision of a child by ‘setting up’
One of the many sad aspects of The Handmaid’s Tale is that the women who are subjected to abuse and discrimination soon comply with the roles that have been assigned to them, permitting abuse and exploitation against and amongst themselves. Atwood is not particularly hopeful about women as a means of changing the conditions in which they are living in this society. Even Offred’s eventual escape from the perverted system is more of a luck luck thing than determined will. Paying particular attention to the ending of the novel, this essay will argue that the author wants to call the reader’s attention to the problems that women suffer, but that she offers no solution or hope for change. I will be addressing three different literary devices in this essay; Repetition, Characterization, and Foreshadowing. I hope you enjoy.
This “preview” to the overall bigger picture that the story is trying to tell demonstrates the power of abortion and the ripple effects that it can have. The authors utilize ethos, pathos, and logos in this example. The purpose of this portion of the chapter is to “preview” the main idea of the chapter, even if the reader does not know it yet. The author’s also use a historical example to help establish precedent and to help establish credibility for themselves – a prime example of ethos. The emotional appeal in this portion of the chapter is certainly present; one cannot help but feel for the parents and children living under the harsh conditions of Ceausecu’s regime. Whether or not the reader knows it at the time, this “preview” section is used to establish the main idea of the entire chapter in a unique way.
Depending on the class in society, the women have certain freedoms towards sex. The Handmaids are only allowed to have sex with the Commanders. Not only are the Commanders the only ones with whom they are allowed to have sex with, but they also have to have sex with them because it is their job. The Handmaids are forced to have sex with the Commanders solely for the purpose of reproducing. If the Handmaids do not reproduce, it means failure. “Each month I watch for blood, fearfully, for when it comes it means failure”(84). It is not stated if the Marthas are able to have sex or not. The Marthas fall into their place because they are unable to reproduce; therefore they are not forced to have sex like the Handmaids. The Wives are allowed to have sex with their husbands. The wives have no restrictions placed on them saying they can have sex with their husbands. The wives can do this because they have a significant amount more power than the other women in the society. The wives have this
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.
to give a horrific picture in the readers mind of what happened. The movie changes the scene slightly in that there is only one hanging. The Handmaid in the movie is hung for "seduction of a doctor." The director of the film makes this scene very tense when Aunt Lydia asks, "Why is she punished?" All the handmaids answer in unison while bowing "For our sins! For our sins," and by showing the Handmaids pull the rope to hang the convicted woman. Both the movie and the film proceed to the Particicution. The handmaids make a circle around a man who was convicted of "rape of two women, one was pregnant and the baby died" (279). Atwood describes how all the handmaids "surge forward, like a crowd at a rock concert in the former time,"(279) and kill the man. The movie follows along with the picture Atwood gives accurately.
Another type of bondage is conceived of here: love's bondage. When the soldier was not fighting, his soul was bound with those gyves that have previously been "pressed upon" his people, and which he rebelled against. But now, as he is fighting on the Somme, he is tied to his lover's heart from the battlefield with love's gyve. The woman is afraid that death would loosen that gyve that holds him yet, and if so, her soldier lover would release and, accordingly, she would lose him, a conceptualization that calls up the metaphor DEATH IS DELIVERANCE. The woman then wishes that he "were bound with the old, old gyves" since they were safer, although being