Role Of Religion In The Handmaid's Tale

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This essay will discuss how The Handmaid 's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler represent religion. The Handmaid’s tale In the handmaid’s tale, The republic of Gilead is a fundamentalist Christian theocracy, meaning there is no separation between the state and religion. Gilead is built on the biblical idea that men are more important than women. The bible also has an important role in the naming of objects, buildings and people. The most important, is the state itself. In the Old Testament, Gilead is a very fertile and therefore very desirable region in ancient Palestine. Atwood’s Gilead is the opposite of fertile but instead is an attempt to show how the government is clean and pure. ( Men are called ‘commanders of the faithful’ and are also referred to as the ‘eyes of the lord’(Atwood) They control every aspect of life from economics and politics to individual ideas and beliefs. (Kouhestani pg. 132) Women are subdivided into different classes, these are ‘Wives, Marthas, Handmaids, Econowives and Unwomen. These have biblical allusions. The name Handwife refers to the Old Testament, specifically Genesis 30:1-3. The fact that almost all the names given to the people in Gilead refer to the Bible suggests that the regime justifies the roles people have in society with certain events in the Bible.(Breuer) The place where the Handmaids are trained and

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