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The Handmaids Tale Power Analysis

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You are granted power and want to alter a situation in order to benefit yourself. How do you do it? In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, individuals with power are found in situations they feel they need to change. They work to accomplish this change, by modifying and even twisting moral views to an interpretation that is advantageous to them. Power leads to the corruption of values, which is illustrated by the Gilead setting, the Aunts’ character, and the use of Offred’s first person narrative. In the Gilead setting, the powerful leaders of the society twist biblical and secular values to justify their rules and actions. The Gilead social leaders use biblical phrases to manipulate the Handmaids into willfully and sometimes…show more content…
She continually shows a dislike for Janine, and justifies her feelings with a reason that would normally cause a person to feel sympathy instead of hate. She mentions how “...Janine was like a puppy that’s been kicked too often, by too many people, at random: she’d roll over for anyone, she’d tell anything, just for a moment of approbation” (Atwood 129). This is a phrase that would normally invoke feelings of empathy and sympathy for a person who has been hurt, but Offred uses this phrase to justify her dislike for Janine, portraying her in a negative light. The use of a first-person narration shows us that Offred twists situations which would usually invoke feelings of pity to justify her hate. In this way, she uses her power as narrator to corrupt values. When Offred remembers her feminist mother, she remembers how she wanted a women’s culture. She thinks to herself, “Mother...you wanted a women’s culture...it isn’t what you meant, but it exists” (Atwood 127). By doing this first-person narration, Offred is interpreting for us that the powerful Gilead society corrupted feminist moral values. She says that her mother wanted a women’s culture, and acknowledges that Gilead has given them this, but by corrupting the
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