Handmaid's Tale Literary Analysis

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Margaret Atwood has seamlessly woven a tapestry of feminist elements - mainly regarding gender oppression - within her works. With that, using two of Atwood’s texts, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Year of The Flood, as the foundation for our literary research, we will be focusing on the commodification of the female flesh in both similar dystopian contexts. Commodification refers to the action or process of treating an object, or a person, as a raw material or product that can be bought and sold, or even treated as an object of which sovereignty can be held over by one. In both works, women are victimized and treated as sexual beings whose bodies and physical expressions can be freely used by the men who have power over them against their will. The two texts illustrate how society brings about the oppression of women and this exacerbates the commodification of women. These texts demonstrate the societal issues involving oppression of women, women’s sexual role and their status. The Handmaid’s Tale depicts the rigid societal structure whereby women are forced to serve in various aspects and functions in the society. The boundaries of the context set are in Gilead, a totalitarian state dominated by Christian fundamentalists, indicating that Gilead enforces conformity among its citizens. In a simply put manner, one’s social position is fixed. The permanent social statuses are clearly evident from the colour-coding of the women wherein “some [are] in red, some in dull green of
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