On the rare instance Orleanna would represent herself and her feelings in some way, Nathan “habitually overlooked” her. (200) If she ever complained about their life, he would “chew his dinner while looking tactfully away, as one might ignore a child who has deliberately broken her dolls”. (200) Orleanna’s marriage to Nathan has conditioned her to speaking up for herself even less than she originally had, because whenever she does use her
Imagine a nation in which its government commands by a religion where women are separated into different titles and must conceive children for their commander. Their rights from before this regime, and anything deemed unholy by the government, are a thing of the past. This situation is the one represent in the Republic of Gilead, where the rules of society and its traditions are not taken lightly if broken. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood shows that an oppressive government leads to the inevitable neglect and remiss of the rules through Offred’s characterization, irony, and flashbacks. Offred 's character development can show that her actions change .
The Commander’s wife, Serena Joy, is shown to be living a horrible life, and we can see she despises Offred. In fact, through an act of desperation, Serena tells Offred, “ I was thinking of Nick” (Atwood 205). Serena previously had said that maybe the Commander couldn’t have kids. She then does something risky by suggesting Offred sleep with Nick, to see if she then gets pregnant. By Serena’s actions, we can tell she desperately wants a baby, so that way Offred can leave as soon as possible.
“What it really means is that she is in control of the process and thus the product. If any.” (109). The society of Gilead wants to make sure that the child is the Commander’s wife’s child as much as possible, and they believe that by having Serena Joy hold the hands of Offred, then that is possible. In this way, Offred, and all of the other Handmaid’s are sexually dehumanized.
At the same time, the Historical Notes reveal that other records of those who lived in Gilead also exist (346). Though Offred has never participated in a coordinated regime subversive activity, her story, along with those of other survivors, now form a polyphony of resistance. Storytelling in The Handmaid’s Tale performs various functions: it is Offred’s way of resistance, her survival strategy, her intellectual pastime, and a testimony to the future. By telling herself stories she escapes into memories, shape and change her experience, and substitute the lacking communication. She uses storytelling to preserve herself, to validate her existence, to prove her life matters.
It seems the older Wives are seeking to hang onto their attractiveness and fertility by decorating themselves with flowers and tending gardens. Serena Joy seems to enjoy mutilating the flowers ; flowers being the symbol for the Handmaids. This shows her hatred for the Handmaids . What the Handmaid’s never get to experience is freedom as they are supposed to blindly follow the rules set for them. In the text, the Eyes of God are Gilead’s secret police.
In this written text, the emphasis will be on Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale and as well as the way Atwood portrays women and how it can be argued to show the oppression of women. The main purpose is to analyze the way women are treated throughout this book and depict why they are represented this way in the society in Gilead. Then, comparatively, observe the men’s domination over women and how they govern this society. In The Handmaid’s Tale, women are stripped of their rights, suffer many inequalities and are objectified, controlled by men and only valued for their reproductive qualities. The Gilead society is divided in multiple social group.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Atwood 's dystopian classic, The Handmaid 's Tale. The novel is told from a first person account of a young woman, Offred. In an age of declining births, she is forced to become a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, the imagined future in the United States. The Handmaids are to provide children by the substitution of infertile women of a higher social status. Through the creation of different characteristics of female characters – ones who are submissive yet rebellious, and like to take advantage of their power - Margaret Atwood portray themes of love, theocracy, rebellion, and gender roles.
Just like Hamlet, Offred was also unable to trust anyone other than her best friend, Moira because of the situation she was placed in. Since Offred was a handmaid nearly all of her human rights were taken away, because of this she was unable to build relationships of trust with other people. She had lost all connections with people she loved, with the exception of Moira. Gilead, a world where all the citizens are obligated to obey those in power, none of the people had any meaningful relationships such as friendship or companionship. As shown by Offred 's statement: "We aren 't supposed to form friendships, loyalties, among one another" (Atwood 353), people were expected to not create new relationships.
In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Offred has a continuous search for justice for her daughter, in a society in which her idea of justice is starts as one concept and changes to one that she never expected. Margaret Atwood writes Offred as a character who was at once strong-willed, and who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Her strength is dimmed at first, when her daughter and husband are first taken from her. Her strength, however comes back in full force when she finds the opportunity to get justice for her daughter. Offred uses the motivation of her daughter to spur a rebellious side of her that disappeared when the new leaders came into power.
Serena may have weaponized sex against Offred, but she still values it. In the beginning of the novel she defines her relationship with the Commander as, “I’m his mistress... Outside woman” saying that it is her duty to “provide what is otherwise lacking” and calling it an “ignominious position” (Atwood 164). By showing the shame Offred feels about her ignominious position in society, it shows that Serena’s oppression and hate has changed Offred’s opinions on intimacy and sex. Another change within Offred is her expression of emotion with that person.
Aryaman Gulati December 16, 2014 World Studies Final Exam Argumentative Essay “Power Tends To Corrupt; Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.” Ruthless Tyrants. Fictional Characters. Normal People. Power is seen everywhere and witnessed by everyone.