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. In the novel, the main character Offred tells her tale as a handmaid and, how her and the other characters rebel towards the oppressive government. Offred, the only source of information, therefore the reader only knows what she tells them. …show more content…
Serena Joy barely even leaves her house as a wife’s duty consists of staying home. She is a very unhappy character. Her life before this new government was a celebrity in television singing gospels and making speeches fighting for the life she has now which she hates. The only attention she receives is from when she fakes ill and all the other wives come visit and nurture her. However, if she were to get “pregnant” it will bless her ,the household,and wives will envy her. She knows that there are laws, but she is so desperate that she is willing to break them by suggesting this to Offred, “Maybe you should try it another way”(Atwood 204). She encourages Offred to break the law and have sexual intercourse with another man and plant it as the commander’s child. Her desperation make her take desperate actions and how she achieves to rebel against the government. The Commander the one above all and on top of the official classification of Gilead-Men. He has power and in control of the household.He has the duty to impregnate his handmaid Offred. He plays a hypocritical character because even though he creates the rules he breaks them. For example, the place he takes Offred wearing a lingerie, “‘What do you think of our little club?’”(Atwood 236). It was more of a brothel and he only took her to the so he could have the freedom to have sexual intercourse with her without having to restrain himself from showing pleasure and without his wife invading the room. Him having to act like he doesn’t take pleasure in having sexual intercourse made him take these measures. This shows how none of them are happy even they have a sort of power because they don’t completely have the freedom to live their
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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
What would become of the world, if our current societal flaws, such as sexism, racism, and classism were ingrained and executed at a systematic level? This is exactly what The Handmaid’s Tale set out to explore. The novel, which claims to be speculative fiction, is set in the theocratic Republic of Gilead (formerly the USA), where birth rates are rapidly declining and women have been marginalized by the patriarchal regime, forbidden to read, write or love and valued only if they are able to procreate. They are separated into classes, including Wives, Marthas, Aunts, Unwomen, and Handmaids, distinguishable only by the color of their clothing. The Handmaids are renamed by combining ‘of’ and the name of the Commander that they have been assigned to, stripping them of any individuality.
The Handmaid’s are not only not allowed to touch the Commander during the process; they are not even allowed eye contact. This portrays the idea that the Handmaid’s are only there to provide sexual stimulation for the man, and is not allowed to take any sort of pleasure in the act. The Handmaid’s must remember, “For him …I am only a whim.” (Atwood 159). Another example of sexual dehumanization during the Ceremony is when Offred is “serviced” beforehand.
Conformity in the Handmaid’s Tale 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.
Offred is suspicious of what the handmaid 's did. She looks at their hands, and a clue is given to her when she sees “black gloves”(Atwood 275). She ponders what they could have possibly done to have warranted such action from the authorities. Her speculation shows how the society of Gilead functions. The government of Gilead wants the handmaids to see that the prisoners are being hanged, as their suspicion is how Gilead gains control of them.
Rebellion in The Handmaid’s Tale Imagine not being able to do what you used to do because some actions are forbidden in this new society. In the Handmaid's Tale, Gilead is a dystopian society where people are limited to certain actions. Throughout the story, Offred’s actions are rebellious because she has broken so many rules. Atwood demonstrates that restricted expression leads to rebellion by showing the Commanders and Offred’s affair developing throughout time and the actions of both characters.
One of the factors used by the characters in the two novels for their survival is conformity. An example of conformity that plays an important role in the two novels is clothing. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the classifications of each individual are conformed by different clothing. The Handmaids wear red dresses, Marthas wear green, Wives wear blue, Ecowives wear stripes dresses of the three colours, and Commanders and the Angels wear black clothing. According to Offred from The Handmaid's Tale, “The wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us from seeing, but also from being seen” (Atwood 9).
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.
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.
There are two ways people will react to when their freedom is taken away. They will either accept it or rebel against it, which is what a lot of the female characters in Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale accomplished. Shown through Offred’s repetition of certain events, Moira’s tone of being a fighter, and Serena Joy’s desperation, the reader can see that lack of freedom leads to rebellion. Offred, the novel’s narrator, now lives in a world where women are powerless. She has had her freedom taken away, and at times follows the rules, but ends up rebelling in many powerful ways.
In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the protagonist, Offred, expresses her wish that her “story [is] different,” that it is “happier,” or at least “more active, less hesitant, less distracted” than it is ultimately portrayed (267). However, as her story is told, these characteristics are evident in the way she talks and acts, especially around those with authority. Hesitant to express her true thoughts and feelings, and distracted by memories from her previous life, Offred attempts to piece together her role in the society that has taken her freedom. The result is a compilation of moments, of memories, both from her present, her past, and even speculation about her future.
In the Handmaid 's Tale power is used to control the women and sort them into certain gender roles. Each women in the society of Gilead is assigned a certain job that is stereotypical of a woman 's job such as cooking, sex, and reproduction. These women are the lowest class in Gilead and have no control. The men have superior power of the women but the women such as Ofgeln and Offred gain control in power in their lives. Men have an upper hand in the control of these women.
In the 1980s, United States was experiencing the rise of conservatism. Under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, conservative religious groups were gaining popularity. In response to the social and political landscape, Canadian author Margaret Atwood published a fictional novel The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986; a genre of dystopian novels. The storyline projects an imaginary futuristic world where society lives under oppression and illusion of a utopian society maintained through totalitarian control. Dystopian novels often focus on current social government trends and show an exaggeration of what happens if the trends are taken too far.
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.
Throughout the novel, Moira’s use of informal language and slang is apparent. This is significant because Moira’s crude vocabulary is dramatically different from how the Handmaids are taught to speak, marking her as a dissenter under the restrictive rule of Gilead. For instance, Moira scoffs that the Red Centre is “a loony bin” in Chapter 13. The use of the colloquial noun ‘loony’ to describe the Red Centre establishes a conversational, almost childish tone of voice. This contrasts from the rather mechanic and automated voice Offred has when she becomes a Handmaid, replying with contrived phrases such as “praise be” to other Handmaids.