Both texts ‘The Handmaids Tale’ and ‘The Bloody Chamber’ were written during the second wave of feminism which centralised the issue of ownership over women’s sexuality and reproductive rights and as a result, the oral contraceptive was created. As powerfully stated by Ariel Levy, ‘If we are really going to be sexually liberated, we need to make room for a range of options as wide as the variety of human desire.’ Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter both celebrate female sexuality as empowering to challenge the constraints of social pressure on attitudes of women. Both writers aim to expose the impact of patriarchy as it represses female sexual desire and aim to control it thus challenge contemporary perspectives of women by revealing the oppression
In Margaret Atwood’s novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Moira is depicted as the symbol for resistance to authority and represents hope to the Handmaids. Atwood presents her as a polar opposite to Offred. She is independent, strong-willed, and outspoken. Conversely, the pair can be argued to be doubles in the fact that they both ‘resist’ to the oppressive Republic in Gilead.
“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body”. When Margaret Sanger spoke these words, she was expressing her belief on a woman’s right to have an abortion. This quote, however, speaks to the fact that women are oppressed on more than just abortions. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Atwood portrays the dehumanization of sexuality through both the characters and events within the novel, therefore proving that women will always be considered less than men will.
Fairy tales have been told for centuries and have been used to portray the conflict of sexual politics over time. Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast are both examples of fairy tales with this focus. Making use of this conflict in The Handmaid 's Tale, Margaret Atwood has used certain elements of fairy tale genre to have the opposite effect of the stereotypical ‘happy ever after’ as the novel plays in a dystopian world. More specifically, the author has borrowed elements of fairy tales to develop the theme of shifting power in The Handmaid’s Tale.
Outward conformity along with inward questioning, that is what the main character, presented in Margaret Artwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, has to undertake in order to survive in a theocratic society. Stepping out of line in any way risks your life, so in a place where freedom of speech and basic human right’s no longer apply, Offered must comply with whatever rules they have in place and pretend to agree with the system, but in the inside, she cannot help but think about her past life, her husband, her daughter, before everything began. Flashbacks are integrated in the novel to not only compare the old society with the new one, but to also demonstrate this fake conformity Offred has to display to others and her internal struggle with giving up on escaping the Republic or just accepting her fate and playing by
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood is a novel about a society that has replaced the United States of America and in a totalitarian state where the power is held by a group of powerful people. Offred is the main character that in the book is a handmaid for the commander in chief. A handmaid is a woman who bears children for couples that cannot conceive. When the handmaids get at a certain point in their cycle they are to have meaningless sex to whomever they are assigned to. The Handmaids Tale has a very personal connection to biblical references and historical references of the past. The historical references in the Handmaids Tale are significant because they show the reign of control throughout the novel by referring to biblical times,
She is then laid down and restrained by the arms by the Commander's Wife. The Commander finishes his duty and both the handmaid and the commander pray that the handmaid becomes pregnant. Everyone hopes for the handmaid to become pregnant since during this society there is a large number of sterile women. Over time she becomes aware of the wrongdoings of the government. In response to this, she starts to rebel in small ways and remembers her past which has been brainwashed out of her. She is additional brainwashed through the education she received from the handmaid's teachers which they call the Aunts. They use propaganda through a bible that has been rewritten to satisfy the wants of the government or society. This allows the aunts to use manipulation through religion. Power is shown through all of these methods and warns the reader of similar affairs that could happen soon. Margaret Atwood’s superfluous attention to power through symbolistic religion helps cation the reader about issues with religion, government, and education. Today’s society struggles with the separation, regulation, and balance of all
A Japanese proverb says, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”. As seen in several historical events such as the Salem Witch Trials or the Holocaust, this concept illustrates the idea that nonconformity will get punished or suppressed. During the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler’s populist regime led to subservience out of fear because resistance was too dangerous. The results of the Holocaust demonstrates that conformity can lead to dangerous situations and have a major influence on the behavior and actions of people. In Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the Handmaid, Offred, lived in a totalitarian society where feelings and opinions were suppressed, reading and writing banned, and individuality discouraged.
Rebellion; the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention. The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood is a novel. The novel takes place in Gilead a dystopian society. Everyone in Gilead has an important role to play within the society, however, it seems as if none of the characters seem content with their role, due to the restrictions they face. In the novel, the lack of freedom leads to rebellion as shown by the characterization, interior dialogue, flashbacks, and foreshadowing.
The novel ‘The Handmaids’s Tale’ written by Margaret Atwood focuses on this superficial world where women are inferior to men. In the society of Gillead women are there to serve a purpose, whether its to be a wife and tend to the garden and house, or a handmaid who is used only to get pregnant by the commander and to bear the surrogate child for the housewife. This society in Gilead is completely dominated by the male species, and as readers one can only assume it is written around the troubles at Gillead to show the audience the dangers of how mens marginalisation of women is very real and how dangerous it could be in our society today.
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.
Conflict can be described as the struggle between two opposing forces, whether the forces being person vs person, person vs self or person vs society. Good examples of conflict can be found in almost any book. Margaret Atwood’s novel, the Handmaid’s Tale is a source of all three types of conflicts. The Handmaid’s Tale is about a society where females are given specific duties and are restricted from reading, writing, talking to others and looking at themselves in mirrors. The protagonist, Offred whom is also the narrator in the novel faces conflicts with herself, with other people, and the society that she lives in. Offred’s conflict with the commander’s wife Serena Joy only escalates throughout the book, as the two did not like each other
Works of literature often portray ideas relating to Marxist theory, this is why in a dystopian society, class distinctions dominate the social climate, using Marxist ideologies as a tool to define the lives of the narrator and those around her. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, ideologies from Marxist theory dominate the society in which Offred, the narrator, lives in, evidenced by the strict class systems and limited interaction between them. In writing the novel, Atwood makes a point to create a world that could exist using technology and ideas already accessible in today’s society, meaning the events that take place in The Handmaid’s Tale could happen in present day. Offred lives in a reality where class distinctions dominate society, and women, especially fertile women. These women are displaced downwards, although there are those women who attempt to resist the grip of society. Offred initially feels a sense of loss due to her position as a fertile woman since the independence and individuality she once enjoyed has since been stripped from her by the Republic of Gilead. It is only through rebellion that Offred is able to slowly regain her sense of self and reject the role that Gilead forces her into. By rebellion, however, it is often more dangerous for the perpetrators than to the government’s grip on the people. Offred’s societal role as a handmaid in Gilead forces her to first obey, then causes her to question, which finally allows her to realize her