Comparison Of Masculinity In The Handmaids Tale

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‘A person’s intellectual make-up bears the clear imprint of the life of society as a whole’. To what extent does the language and structure in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Kindred’ reflect versions of masculinity? Both ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Kindred’ explore the psychological destruction of misogyny within their civilisation. This is predominantly seen through the fact that the Republic of Gilead is so ubiquitous that the nation was instituted for the sole purpose of restoring a true theocratic patriarchy which parallels the social hierarchy also apparent in ‘Kindred’. Every aspect of society works not only to gain control over those of low social standing, but also show a significantly great amount of prejudice against women. In this way, the societies enforce their patriarchy onto its citizens, allowing modern time readers to draw contrasts between their own societies and the ones in the novels that oppose ideas of freedom through indoctrination, using education as a form of empowerment and violence to evoke fear. Men are only regarded the monarchs of society once women have been demeaned. This is evidenced through Attwood’s use of animalistic language to display the false power the Commander holds over Offred. Upon their first meeting, Offred states that she thought ‘he might be toying, some cat-and-mouse routine, but now [she] thinks that his motives and desires weren’t obvious even to him’. Here, the Commander is portrayed as manipulative, as he is not only ‘toying’
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