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.
Within the past year, the treatment and perceptions of women have been challenged due to the various marches and movements. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romance, The Scarlet Letter, presents how women were viewed in a Puritan society, falling into a rigid dichotomy of either being the “saint” or “sinner.” This is otherwise known as the “Madonna/Whore complex,” which is explored through the life of the novel’s protagonist, Hyster Prynne. Her struggles and experiences through this dichotomy ultimately affect her both physically and emotionally as it represses her femininity. Firstly, what does the Madonna/Whore complex even mean? According to Gottschall, it is defined as how “men and/or society divide women into two binary types: virgins and whores.
Her message is that if we continue to ignore the mistreatment of women, our society will look like the society of Gilead. Atwood’s use of irony is most prominent in the historical notes section of the novel. After reliving Offred’s horrific experience of repression in Gilead, we are presented with a group of scientist who are studying Gilead’s society many years after Gilead’s extinction. Atwood vividly describes the dangers and horrors of a society that subjugates women through Offred’s narrative. However, when studied by the scientist, they are insensitive and patronizing to the subjects of their research.
We bring Mrs. Hutchinson here on trial for her threatening crimes against our Puritan community and Massachusetts itself. Mrs. Hutchinson has vocally attacked the standing of our churches and authority, spoken blasphemy about “God speaking directly to her”, and has gone against the morals of her sex. We have enough evidence here to take Mrs. Hutchinson to her grave. One of Mrs. Hutchinson’s most atrocious claims is that our ministers are engaging in “faulty preaching” by saying church attendance and moral behavior are what determine if we are going to heaven or hell. Who is she, a woman more importantly, to say that our educated ministers are doing us wrong?
Women during Edna’s time were supposed to be dedicated to their husbands and children, however, Edna yearned for her own independence, and as a result of wanting her own independence Edna knew that she was seen as a terrible person. For instance Edna wanted to “…try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it" (27.4).
It is what one can consider a cautionary tale. In the new world of Gilead, a group of conservative religious extremists have taken power, and have turned the sexual revolution upside down. The society of Gilead is founded on what is to be considered a return to traditional values, gender roles and the subjugation of women by men, and the Bible is used as the guiding principle. It differs completely from the society, which was once the place in which Feminists argued for liberation from the traditional gender roles. The Handmaids Tale portrays that of a totalitarian society, and reflects a dystopia, which goes on to explore the interaction between sexuality and politics.
And it is this illusion, taken as fact, that leaves in its wake shattered expectations. “Vandals” presents a scenario in which biased societal perceptions affect the ways the characters respond to subtle impressions of pedophilia, relationship abuse, and vandalism. To understand societal expectations of women that would have plagued the characters of “Vandals” one may consider the role of Christianity. One abstraction of the obedient wife that predates the concept of equality in marriage is the debatably unequal relationship between the Christian Adam and Eve. This and many other religious and cultural tales forewarning the destruction that is a disobedient woman’s actions help to provide context for the consistent subjugation of women recognized throughout the centuries.
Evelyn Reynoso Butiu English 11 21 February 2018 Literary Analysis Essay You are a successful women, success covered in the droplets of your blood, sweat, and tears. Suddenly, your success no longer holds your value and your fertility now defines you. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, American society took multiple steps backwards, drastically changing the lives of all citizens for good as illustrated when Offred lost her financial and property rights in a matter of short time. Formally the United States, the totalitarian Christian society of Gilead is the reflection of future America if oppression of women, environmental damage, and disagreement of religion and politics continue. Women continue to be be oppressed by
Franklin’s criticism of religion in “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” is one of the most emotionally charged and serious paragraphs in the story. Polly Baker lives in colonial New England and religion is a huge part of life in that time. In her speech Polly states that she has been banned from church and overall rejected from taking part in organized religion. By declaring, “You believe I have offended Heaven, and must suffer eternal Fire. Will that nor be sufficient?”, Polly Baker insinuates that she is going to be punished by God for her transgressions.
Both of the text include Psychoanalytic Criticism, because one side is saying she against the lottery, and an Christian, and the other side shows where Tessie think it’s just any fair. Also that part is Feminism Criticism, because at the end of the passage all the attention is on Mrs. Hutchinson as she is singled out at the end to be stoned to death as the passage illustrates, “Its Tessie,” Mr. Summers said….. “Show us her paper, Bill”