How Does Margaret Atwood Use Power In The Handmaid's Tale

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Language is the most powerful tools in connecting between the author and the readers. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood uses word choice and sentence structure to expose that the shocking cultures of Gilead society are built upon foundations of sexism. Additionally, with the use of double entendre, Atwood emphasizes the theme throughout the novel: the presence of power. Atwood shows Gilead society is a corrupted place where people seek to break the rules and to show power through the action between the Commander and Offred. In chapter 36, “The Commander has hold of my right hand, as if we’re teenagers at the movies” (Atwood, 232), the word “hold” implies two meanings which the Commander is holding Offred’s hand out of love or the Commander is holding of Offred as in power. In Gilead society, touching is forbidden for the Handmaid and the Commander. Despite knowing the rule, they still against the societal laws. This action shows that both characters rebel because they want to be happy and to be loved in the strict society. Also, instead of using holding hands, Atwood specifically uses “has hold” to display the authority that he has over Offred. The use of double entendre in the word “hold” is not only showing the readers that the Commander has feelings for Offred, but also wanting to have control over her. In Gilead society, power not…show more content…
From the action “hold” to the uniform that the Commander and Offred wear, both represent for the power that people in Gilead want to control, have authority over something for their own. The use of language as a means to execute and to gain power is one of the central themes in The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood has succeeded using the power of the language to criticize how extremist the Gilead society can make individuals become

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