Handmaid's Tale: An Ultra-Misogynistic Dystopia

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In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead, an ultra-misogynistic dystopia, has taken over what can be assumed to be the United States. Women are separated into categories based on their age, fertility, and general use to the regime. Any women who does not fit the qualifications for any of the categories or violates rules against sexual activity is deemed an Unwomen and sent to the a supposedly treacherous place known as the “Colonies”. Men are also forbidden from having sexual relations unless given position of Commander, a rank that seems to hold the most power and privilege in society. The systematic oppression of these people is surrounded by religious justifications and biblical references. This is ironic because the promises made…show more content…
One of their methods of control is instilling a sense religious obligation into the Handmaids, stating a case based on monotheistic beliefs. Gilead, however, picks and chooses which aspects of religion they enforce in order to protect its vision. Aunt Lisa admonishes the Handmaids against inappropriate interactions with men because, “They can’t help it... God made them that way, but He did not make you that way. He made you different. It’s up to you to set the boundaries. Later you will be thanked,”(Atwood 45). By setting this precedent, she is saying that men are not responsible for controlling their sexuality. While the Bible does stress that women are obligated to remain chaste and not tempt men, it also lays out sexual boundaries that men are to respect, like refraining from masturbation and extramarital sex. The Handmaids are also told that , “The Republic of Gilead....knows no bounds. Gilead is within you,”(Atwood 23), as if Gilead is God, a higher power that the Bible suggests is in all human beings. This shifts the Handmaid's’ responsibility from loyalty to God to loyalty to government. This is yet another area where Gilead abuses biblical text in order to justify its
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