Satire In The Handmaid's Tale

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Satire is often described as the use of humor, irony, or exaggeration to criticize someone or something. The Handmaid’s Tale was written shortly after the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. With concerns regarding the possibility of reversing everything that feminists have accomplished, Atwood writes of a story that examines and criticizes what a protestant puritanical society would be like. In The Handmaid’s Tale, women are oppressed due to Gilead’s perverted perception of Christianity and the bible which can be seen when Aunt Lydia twists passages of the bible to conform to their agenda. Atwood shows a contemporary society with repressive views when taken to their logical extremes, in this case, extreme right wing ideology. There are…show more content…
Offred compares rape to dessert, making it seem like it is not important or serious. Rape is brought up again when the aunts blame the victim, Janine for getting raped. These are attitudes that can be seen in certain religions like the ones that operate under Sharia Law, where women are blamed for rape. The majority of the book was from a handmaid’s perspective. Atwood parodies the way some of the religious right may perceive women in which they are important for creating life by introducing handmaids, women who have been reduced into only their procreative purposes. Another technique that was used is when she parodies the way traditional families’ wives take on the names of their husband. In the story, handmaids are named “Of” plus the name of their commander, criticizing how changing the surnames makes it seem like the men are the owners of the women. The way these issues were satirized in the story are effective because of the role of the main character. It would be difficult to not sympathize with a victim of a totalitarian society that oppresses women to a much greater extent than to that of men. It is important to remember that the purpose of creating dystopian literature is not to prophesize but to warn us of what could
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