Freedom In The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

1364 Words6 Pages
Aunt Lydia’s more relevant quote in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, is the two freedoms, who gives the reader an accurate insight of the Gilead society. This quote exposes the contrast between the freedom before and after the settlement of the Republic of Gilead, and the mentality of the brainwashed nation. It is well known that the Gileadean era is a dystopia, but the reader must study deeper into both societies –Gileadean and pre-Gileadean- to understand which one is really worse. Before the appearing of the Republic of Gilead, freedom was seen as a person’s desire, however, on the Gileadean era, freedom is a collective idea. On the current community, freedom is settled by laws based on moral and social values, but ignoring the…show more content…
This new regime brings the laws to control women; this included a new language and the use of violence as a method of oppression. Language is very connected with oppression. Throughout history, we see how colonizers impose their language in colonized countries to keep the natives ignorant, the same in The Handmaid’s Tale. It is noticed how every simple thing that can contain a word has been replaced. Coins are now tokens with symbols, and shop signs were replaced by drawings, to give just the necessary information about it. Every simple book or magazine was burned, all this to keep women ignorant and submissive. Language is the barrier between knowledge and ignorance, depriving someone of its language is depriving him from truth. For this reason, the Scrabble games were so important in the book. The commander playing Scrabble with Offred is a representation of clandestine rebellion. They were committing a crime and Offred enjoyed that, because for the first time since the settlement of Gilead, she was free. After all that time, Offred is having the opportunity of taking control over language, and control over the truth. In the journal The Role of Language in European Nationalist Ideologies by Jan Blommaert & Jef Verschueren, the oppression of language is constantly treated, giving examples of the uses of it throughout history and the consequences brought by…show more content…
The way to achieve this, is with the previously stated laws and bans that only deprived people from their liberties. Even the simplest things, like make-up, were prohibited, leading to an extremist government, where men were clearly superior. However, this class difference existed even between women, like the merciless Aunts and the useless unwomen. The Handmaid’s where only tools for having babies and future soldiers for the war as is expressed in the quote ““cradle[s] of life, made of bones; and within, hazards, warped proteins, bad crystals jagged as glass” and “shock troops … [who will] march out in advance, into dangerous territory” – a kind of baby-machine who will produce soldiers to fight for the country.” (Atwood, 194). In the end all the methods used to protect women only reinforced the discrimination, and Handmaids are depicted as baby machines. All this class struggle leads to one answer, in this society freedom is all about what you are forced to achieve to serve the nation. Individuals do not settle their objectives, but the government that force them to accomplish them because they are morally correct. Women are expected to do their job, their “uses”, since it is for the wealth of the
Open Document