The Dystopian Society In The Handmaid's Tale

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In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood portrays a dystopian society which forces women into reproductive slavery to warn of the dangers of a Christian fundamentalist patriarchal government. These women, handmaids, have no rights and are raped by their owners, otherwise known as Commanders, every month in hopes of elevating the depleting birth rates. Offred, the main character and handmaid, only wants two things: her freedom and her daughter, but both were stolen from her. Women in Gilead, like Offred, are not seen as individuals, but resources with their most valuable asset lying between their legs. This demeaning viewpoint of women is horrifying in that it shares perspective with current misogynists and politicians. The most horrifying element about The Handmaid’s…show more content…
In Gilead, excerpts from the Bible have been cherry picked to forward Gilead's propaganda and oppress women. This fundamentally Christian society places a higher interest in the birth of newborns than of the birthing mothers (handmaids). The most prevalent text used to suppress the handmaids is from Genesis 30:1-3, “And she said Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees that I may also have children by her”. This text refers a story in the Bible in which Rachel is not able to bear Jacob’s children and asks him to bear her children through a handmaid called Bilhah. The Republic of Gilead has taken this excerpt and applied it to be the law of the land. Although the Republic does not talk about how Rachel later births a son and names him Joseph. Along with using the Bible to justify raping women they also use the Bible to justify the hanging of gay people and doctors who have performed abortions. Their use of cherry picking, from the Bible, has helped them to further their agenda and justify their actions. In “Religion as a Front for Tyranny”, Patricia Miller states

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