Language And Power In The Handmaid's Tale

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The relationship between language and power within The Handmaids Tale will be used over the course of the novel to further convert and condition the society of Gilead to follow it’s theocratic ideologies through fear and intimidation. Furthermore, protagonist Offred will continue to reflect on and argue the beliefs of the new United States throughout the text in attempts to hold onto the world she knew before; not allowing the republic to take control of who she is now and erase who she was. This malicious regime, intimidates this former egalitarian society into following inhuman practices and regulations through the introduction of social institutions such as “The Eye” and “The Guardians” (Atwood, 17,20). The guardians, seen as the hands of God, are the…show more content…
As the novel portrays these groups of individuals as direct communication and action from God, the repetition of the phrase “under his eye” provides as a constant reminder of the forceful regime Gilead is, the supposed regime put in place to protect them, and yet it is what fears them most (Atwood, 49). Offred, the protagonist of the novel, uses that she is subjected to fear and grounds herself in small victories that can remain her own. These small victories can be seen through the handmaids use of the pronouns “You” and “Mine” where she grounds herself in knowledge of the past, and hopes of a new future. Attaching a name attaches you to the world of fact which is risker; more hazardous (Atwood, 44,54). The word you can be used to address a thousand, or it can be used to address one. Offred uses words like these to remind herself that she is ok, not alone, and not in any immediate danger, in hopes that the crowd being addressed can hear her call for
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