The Handmaid's Tale Feminist Analysis

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The novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a story about a society set in a future world where women’s rights have been revoked. Many values change with this new regime of controlled women and strict laws. Despite the changes in the world it maintains many conservative, religious beliefs while also containing liberal, feminist beliefs simultaneously. Society in the futuristic world of Gilead is structured heavily off of readings from the Bible and traditional views of gender that have been in place for a long time. An example of the Bible being an important part of society is the idea of the Handmaids came from a passage in the Bible about two women, Rachel and Leah. In the story of Rachel and Leah, the two women were married to the…show more content…
These views can be seen in the Handmaids themselves because traditionally the lives of husbands and wives are very private, but by introducing Handmaids, the idea of privacy is destroyed. For example, the Ceremony, which is how Handmaids conceive their children, is something the whole household is a part of, which is quite a change from how things were done before the regime was put in place. Another liberal idea in The Handmaid’s Tale was Jezebel’s, a place where women could work for very little money as prostitutes instead of becoming Handmaids or being sent to the Colonies as punishment. This is a liberal idea because in such a strict society one would not think such an establishment would be allowed, especially because so many Commanders know about it. Also in the novel are feminist beliefs that run society. These can be seen in the reliance on women in general because even though females no longer partake in the economy or politics, they are essential to the development of the world through producing children. Nurses also hold the same amount of power as Commanders and Wives command their households, so there are themes of influential women. Overall, Gilead is able to achieve a conservative frame of government while also having a liberal, feminist underlining. The Handmaid’s Tale addresses many controversial topics in society, such as women’s rights and changing how the government is run. With these
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