Are we, women, just a mere prop to strengthen men’s power and pride? Are women only existing in this world to serve and satisfy men? Back in the day when men are dominating the government and our society, women are just left in their houses. Society sees them as a puppet, a person who is only capable of doing household chores or even a mere baby maker. Freedom is non-existent to a woman’s life and they are treated like criminals who are sentenced to life imprisonment or like a bird whose wings are broken and trapped inside a cage. With this, some of their rights were being violated and those rights are slowly starting to perish. Pan’s Labyrinth is one of Guillermo Del Toro’s greatest masterpiece and it shows the reality about how unfair and cruel society can treat women. This movie depicts that society can do a lot of things that can hurt a woman’s dignity but it also showed us what a true woman is and what are they really capable of doing.
In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster teaches readers the meanings behind commonly used symbols, themes, and motifs. Many readers of all ages use this book as a guide to understanding messages and deeper meanings hidden in novels. The deeper literary meanings of various symbols in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale are explained in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. By using Foster’s book, readers can better understand the symbols in The Handmaid’s Tale. In Atwood’s novel, symbolisms of sex, flowers, and color add to the development of the novel and the deeper meaning of the plot.
Satire is used in literature to criticize and point out society’s flaws. The criticism is usually masked in humour. Irony is commonly used in satires to expose flaws, an effective example is John Smith’s A Modest Proposal, he effectively uses irony, to communicate his argument about the poverty in Ireland at the time. Similarly, in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale she criticizes the society that women live in. Atwood uses allusions to the Old Testament, Cultural Revolution, Salem Witch Trials, and the Taliban to satirize the oppression of women in political, religious and social aspects.
“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.
What determines how a person will act or behave? Despite being born into completely different situations, both Hamlet and Offred are situated into positions that cause them to adjust their behaviour. They clearly have extremely contrasting circumstances, Hamlet is born into royalty with the benefits of having both authority and freedom whereas Offred does not. Offred is a handmaid of Gilead, where she is constrained by the people with authority, where she has to live a life controlled by those in power. Although, Hamlet and Offred are dissimilar in the positions they were born into, both of their demeanors were transformed from the circumstances they were placed in. As a result of the circumstances they were
Gilead values obedience to their core beliefs and use many tactics to maintain it. The citizens often spy on one another and Eyes are spread throughout the society. Offred’s depression and fear is what controls the way she behaves even around Ofglen, who later on became one of her closest companions. “She may be a real believer, a Handmaid in more than name. I can’t take the risk. ‘The war is going well, I hear,’ [Ofglen] says. ‘Praise be,’ I reply. ‘We’ve been sent good weather.’ ‘Which I receive with joy’” (Atwood 24). Offred fears the possible torture she may face if she does anything that is seen as out of line. Much like innocent people confessing to crimes they did not commit in an interrogation, fear is a powerful decider of behavior. Offred knows the punishments that there are for people, she has participated in the executions and seen the dead people on the wall. This instills a constant sense of anxiety and dread that motivates the way she behaves with others. Fear to Offred is like gravity on a meteor, dragging her down
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.
The suffocating society of Gilead is presented where individualism is completely taken away from them, and what it means to be human has been completely eroded away from what we know today. To be human today means, to be honest, affectionate, caring, understanding and to have passions. However, being too passionate for something only leads to chaos as seen through Victor 's overpowering desire for knowledge that led to chaotic results. Offred 's identity and individualism have been completely stripped away from her as he legal rights, name and clothes have been destroyed. She 's just another cog in a machine as she is labeled as a handmaid, only valued for her "viable ovaries". Atwood evidently shows that being human means rebelling and resisting any system imposed on you as it is in our nature to go against a system we don 't agree on and are pressurized to be a part of. Offred silently resists the system, in contrast to Moira that rebels against it openly and loudly as she fought for her individualism. Moira presents a more honest and abrupt human that has a passion for freedom as she goes against the whole system imposed on them. Being human in this novel means being different as an individual, however, this is very hard to achieve as the totalitarian government of
An individual’s sense of belonging is closely associated to their feelings of security and insecurity in all aspects of life. In the novel Wild Cat Falling, by Mudrooroo, the protagonist has little security due to his race, and so refuses to belong, knowing he wouldn’t fit in anyway. This is also evident in a subtler way in Lauren Weisberger’s novel of the same name The Devil Wears Prada, in Andy’s job security. As she gets more confident in her job, she finds a stronger sense of security and subsequently belonging and acceptance.
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.
Throughout history there has been a huge conflict concerning the role of men and women; especially in the 19th century. In the 19th century majority of the population was ran by men because they were seen as the dominant gender in many different aspects such as knowledge, strength, being independent, and working; women on the hand was seen as the more weaker and more fragile gender such as needing a man to depend on, being very emotional/ hormonal, and supposedly couldn’t handle workloads like the men could. These stereotypes and mindset were so common most men and even women thought this was true; which lead very few women to stand out from the rest to show that women could handle Just as much as a man. In the novel “Serena”, there is a different side in how gender is looked upon; the novel shows how women could be just as dominant as the men, and how they are Just as knowledgeable, resourceful, and demanding.
Unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, the search for herself is very much so conscious and self-empowered. Following her family’s vacation and her relationship with Robert, she realizes some things about herself that she doesn’t particularly admire. She feels as if she lives too much in the moment, has become stuck in her ways and is not showing who she actually is. She describes a feeling of having two identities of the “outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions” (ch 7. pg) Edna’s inner identity reaches the breakpoint where it is necessary for her well-being that it is expressed. At this point, nothing else matters besides her intuitions and desires. This brings difficulty to her familiar relationships and friendships due to her rejection of living according to her role as a mother and a wife. Even though this conflict is addressed, it does not make an impact on her decision to remain a bit selfish through this time that she is finding herself. As a way of explaining her state of mind, Edna states that she "would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself. I can't make it more clear; it's only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me." (ch, pg) She has concluded that her true identity of who she envisions herself to be is essential to her future
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
In the story, “The Story of An Hour”, the main character is Louise Mallard. She is a dynamic character. She internally changed throughout the story. In the beginning of the story, she heard the news of her husband’s death in train accident from her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend, Richard. She was shocked by the news and showed sad feelings in the story. However, when I was reading through the story, I could infer that Mallard had a terrible marriage life with her husband because the story later said that Mallard was happy because she had freedom. In the beginning of the story, she was shocked and sad but later on, she was happy because of in dependence. These evidences prove that she is a dynamic character. Round character in the story definitely would be Louise Mallard because she is fully developed and has a lot of emotions throughout the story. As I mentioned, she had a terrible time during her marriage time because she has no freedom and etc. However, as soon as she heard Brently died in train accident, she was shocked but mostly enjoyed it because she got a freedom and eventually died because of her joy. Because the story reveals a lot of her feelings in terms of freedom, developed and changed; she is a round character.