In The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, there are many moments that establish Gilead, the fictional world the novel is set in, as a corrupt society. Gilead is incredibly segregationist, with minorities and women specifically being targeted. It has an incredible lack of reproductive rights for women, and sexual shaming and blame are very prevalent. Margaret Atwood herself stated that she based The Handmaid's Tale only on events that have happened in the past, so aspects of the novel will always exist and can happen again (Atwood Emma Watson interviews). Like Atwood predicted, themes in this novel are still relevant in today's society.
The handmaid 's tale is a dystopian fiction novel written by Margaret Atwood in 1984. It is a bestselling book and was an instant classic. The plot behind the book is a terrifying one, women no longer have rights and are forced by the controlling government to become essentially baby makers and nothing else. Margaret Atwood borrows heavily from biblical texts to demonstrate societies and people being controlled by religion. Margaret Atwood has scattered so many biblical references throughout her novel.
More recently, the awarded Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has also focused mainly on women’s issues and has been regarded as a feminist writer. In “The Handmaid’s Tale”, published in 1986 Margaret Atwood portrays a strongly feminist view of a dystopian society, in which women have been deprived of all their rights. Both of these writers are representatives of the female feminist writers who have let their footprint in our literary history, and each of them expressed her concerns on women’s rights according to the time they were living in. In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf (1929) emphasizes the inequity of treatment for women throughout times that still persists in her society, and promotes her thesis that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" (p. 6). With that purpose in mind, she revises some aspects of women’s place/absence in history, society, and literature and mixed it with some fiction in order to explain how she came to adopt that thesis.
In Atwood’s novel, symbolisms of sex, flowers, and color add to the development of the novel and the deeper meaning of the plot. In The Handmaid’s Tale, color is often mentioned while describing clothing. Each individual in Gilead wears a certain colored uniform that is symbolic of their role in
The Handmaids Tale portrays that of a totalitarian society, and reflects a dystopia, which goes on to explore the interaction between sexuality and politics. (Conboy 349-362) As the saying goes, 'history repeats itself.' If one of the goals of Margaret Atwood was to prove this particular point, she certainly succeeded in her novel The Handmaid's Tale. In her Note to the Reader, she writes, " The thing to remember is that there is nothing new about the society depicted in The Handmaiden's Tale except the time and place. All of the things I have written about ...have been done before, more than once..." (316).
Satire is often described as the use of humor, irony, or exaggeration to criticize someone or something. The Handmaid’s Tale was written shortly after the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. With concerns regarding the possibility of reversing everything that feminists have accomplished, Atwood writes of a story that examines and criticizes what a protestant puritanical society would be like. In The Handmaid’s Tale, women are oppressed due to Gilead’s perverted perception of Christianity and the bible which can be seen when Aunt Lydia twists passages of the bible to conform to their agenda. Atwood shows a contemporary society with repressive views when taken to their logical extremes, in this case, extreme right wing ideology.
Both novels depict totalitarian societies. The worlds of The Handmaid’s Tale and Brave New World are governed by totalitarian party or group which strictly monitors most aspects of the lives of their citizens. This imposing form of totalitarian government is heavily present throughout both novels that sacrifice individual rights in favour of the interests of the ruling group. Gilead takes it even further, denying the integrity not only of the individual person, but also of the human body. Women in Gilead are important only
Nowadays, most people live in democratic countries where they have fundamental freedom and rights. However, The Handmaid's Tale and Prisoner of Tehran describe the opposite side where both characters are imprisoned in their societies. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel which describes a society is ruled by a extreme religion. The setting changes from a democratic country to a dictatorship where people live in fear. The novel is told by the protagonist, Offred, who is a Handmaid, a baby-maker, and is only valued by her ability to reproduce.
List three instances where each symbol appears in The Handmaid's Tale -- copy the text or describe what was happening in that section (including page numbers). Then write an explanation of the significance of that appearance (why was it important?). Last, write a paragraph analyzing the broader meaning of the symbol in The Handmaid's Tale. The Color Red: Chapters: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19 Offred mentions, The bell that measures time is ringing. Time here is measured by bells, as once in nunneries.
In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, colour symbolism is important, as it provokes abstract thoughts or concepts that help us understand the novel better. The colour that stands out the most is red. It is a significant symbol throughout the novel. To begin with, the red outfits the Handmaids are forced to wear cover their entire body. “Everything except the wings around my face is red: The colour of blood, which defines us” (Atwood, 8).