Passivity In The Handmaid's Tale

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Passivity is the acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance to this. Passivity is a concept that can lead to dangerous situations among a society. If passivity is the main issue amongst a society, it can feel like almost a need because a group is so suppressed in their actions and having a voice. Being passive may be the last option for a group of people in order to feel safe, because there is no other option. Not having the right to act freely and have a voice in society, is an inherent danger of being passive. If anything, it can lead to further problems from not standing up and taking action. In The Handmaid’s Tale, in the beginning when women are passive, it leads them to lose their rights, however it is evident throughout…show more content…
In The Handmaid’s Tale, this occurs frequently. The women of Gilead are not allowed to have a say or a voice directly in the way society is run. In the beginning, women are seen as normal human beings, who have less rights than men, and just go with the flow in life. They work, they do household duties, and allow themselves to be taken advantage of. As these women continue to be passive, this passiveness leads to their downfall, where they lose their rights. By allowing themselves to not have a say, and just hang back in the shadow creates an issue among society. As the women of GIlead right’s are abruptly taken, they have no way to stand up for themselves and have a voice in the belief that they deserve rights. The women of Gilead become objectified to the point where their only purpose is to procreate and continue until they may not create any longer. They are treated as things, and they are not seen to have emotions or thoughts. They have no basic rights. They are forbidden to read and write, and have jobs. The government power in The Handmaid’s Tale is viewed as more of a dictatorship, there is only one voice and one way to rule. In the book, passiveness seems to eventually be the only way that women can stay safe. They must be passive and continue fulfilling their only purpose in order to prevent becoming unwoman. If they cannot bare children, they will be sent to the colonies to live a horrid life,…show more content…
Being so passive in society, can pose threats on a woman’s thought. Most women realize that there is another world outside of Gilead where women are free, however they do not take action to get to it. Instead, they continue to live in this world, under the same circumstances where they only serve one purpose: being used to make children. The only thing that determines them is their bodies, they all serve the same purpose, therefore they are stripped of their identities completely. The only thing that is used to identify them is their outfits and their purpose. All handmaids wear the same clothes and must perform the same task. The suppression that the Handmaid’s are under shows their passivity, because they just learn to accept and are treated inhumanely like dolls. Their passiveness leads them to have difficulty finding their identity because they only are used for their bodies and that defines them. “My nakedness is strange to me already...Shameful, immodest. I avoid looking down at my body...I don’t want to see it. I do not want to look at something that defines me so completely” (63). Offred is trying to dissociate herself from her body, she knows that she is more than just a body. She passively rejects the norms society has made about her as a handmaid. Offred is being entirely passive, by considering but not trying to change these roles made for her. The passivity here is dangerous because they are so
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