The Handmaid's Tale Literary Analysis

1076 Words5 Pages
Asia Ihsan
Section 5
Professor: Alex Poppe
11/6/2015

Gilead Republic is Successful in Reeducating Women
Margaret Atwood, in her novel The Handmaid's Tale describes a futuristic, dystopian society called Gilead republic in which the system imposes Christianity religion as the main source for their laws. At the root of the laws is Patriarchy by which roles of the women only condensed to the roles that are assigned to them in Old Testament. All of the events that happening in the Republic of Gilead have happened at some point in history. This makes the novel realistic and authentic so that the reader can have better understanding of the purpose of the novel and its messages. The methods that the system uses to reeducate women are successful
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No totalitarian regime can be successful without the help of the submissive part. According to “The Feminist History Reader”, one of the way that patriarchy is reinforced is by women’s colluding in the system “The oppression of women could not have endured so long and in so many places without their cooperation” (Morgan 67). Women’s complicity can be seen in Gilead as act of spying and supporting the system. For example, women spy on each other. Janine accept to spy on other handmaids to help Aunt Lydia to find Moira. Moreover, some women support the system. For example, Serena Joy asks Offerd to have sex with nick so that she get pregnant. Instead of helping Offerd to escape from the system, she makes her to have sex with other men. Aunts also show women’s complicity. They reeducated the handmaids by brainwashing them and punishing them. For instance, Aunt Lydia makes excuse to the men by saying that men by nature are aggressive and cannot control their sexual desire. “Men are sex machines, said Aunt Lydia… It is nature’s way. It’s God’s device. It’s the way things are” (Atwood 168). In addition, she manipulates the Handmaids into feeling compassion for the Wives. “Try to think of it from their point of view she said, …. It isn't easy for them” (Atwood 14). Another women’s complicity is women’s passivity to men. For example, Offered becomes so obsessed about Nick since she feels comfort with him that she is even thankful…show more content…
Through the novel, we can see how Gilead negatively affects the psychology and mentality of the handmaids that makes them to give up to the system and brain washes them. One example is Janine. She is rejecting her victimization and ignorant of her own victimization, Janine looks revolting, pathetic, and distressed. For example, Offered describes Janine as pitiful since she tries to fulfill Gilead’s roles. She describes her how she throws herself into the testifying and feels arrogance in describing her rape story and abortion; subsequently, feels guilty when she had done nothing wrong. Also, at one point at the Center, Janine completely loses it. She speaks as though she is her old self, a waiter. Therefore, Moira has to slap her into consciousness. “Moira slapped her across the face, twice, back and forth. Get back here, she said. Get right back here! You can’t stay there, you aren’t there anymore. That’s all gone” (Atwood 216). Directly opposed to Janine is Moira, the heroic woman in Handmaid’s Tale. Moira is shown as the vital woman of second-wave feminism. However, Moira looks broken down and given up on herself. To clarify, when she is working at Jezebel's, Offered wants a different outcome for Moira. “I'd like her to end with something daring and spectacular, some outrage, something that would befit her (Atwood 250). If Moira who escaped two-time, in the end
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