Cat Power’s “The Greatest” encompasses many of the themes of powerlessness in The Handmaid’s Tale. If we imagine the song coming from the point of view of Offred, or any handmaid, the song becomes a reflection on Gilead and its effects on the handmaid’s psyche. Offred reflects often on the past and in these reflections the beginning traces of Gilead, warning signs, are present. For example, a woman attempts to steal Offred’s daughter claiming that “the lord told her too” (find actual quote) (Atwood 72). Despite these warning signs Gilead still came as a surprise to Offred, a shock like the “rush of a flood”. Due to this she became hopeless, which is reflected in the line “stars at night turned deep to dust”. The second verse of the song touches
The princess directed her lover to the lady because of the sincere love that she had toward him. “....and she loved him with an ardor that had enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong.” Due to the intense emotion that she had for him, the princess would not wanted to see her lover suffered. “From the moment that the decree had gone forth that her lover should decide his fate in the king's arena, she had thought of nothing, night or day, but this great event and the various subjects connected with it.” We see in this quote that when the lover had been put to jail she couldn’t stop thinking about him.
Overexposure to technology causes a lack of knowledge and the inability to think. (SIP-A): It is clear that society lacks knowledge and is unable to think properly. (STEWE-1): When Mildred is rambling on about her parlor ‘family’, Montag asks her, "'does your 'family' love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?'" (Bradbury 73).
Dystopian literature is used to convey somewhat realistic versions of our society that we can connect to. Dystopias are usually futuristic and are used to convey a warning for us to avoid certain scenarios that could affect our future. In Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid’s Tale she chose to convey exaggerated but real life examples of Misogyny, her novel acts as a social commentary on several issues, and addresses how Patriarchy is used to restrict/control women socially, politically, and economically through the use of labels, the lack of money/ job opportunities, and through dehumanization. In The Handmaid’s Tale labels/names are used as a means of control.
In ‘1984’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, the destruction of the individual is due to a combination of the destruction of independence, language and totalitarian monopolistic control. Complete collectivism, despite separate political beliefs, is presented throughout dictatorial societal jurisdiction as being the predominant way to maintain eternal power. The regimes seek to control individuals and therefore engage in continuing reconnaissance or surveillance of the populace. The mind is the most individual source of power to any person and totalitarianism aims to create complete orthodoxy by controlling and manipulating the mind. Both Orwell in ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ and Atwood in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ are examples of how dystopian literature presents
“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body”. When Margaret Sanger spoke these words, she was expressing her belief on a woman’s right to have an abortion. This quote, however, speaks to the fact that women are oppressed on more than just abortions. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Atwood portrays the dehumanization of sexuality through both the characters and events within the novel, therefore proving that women will always be considered less than men will. Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1939.
Rebellion in The Handmaid’s Tale Imagine not being able to do what you used to do because some actions are forbidden in this new society. In the Handmaid's Tale, Gilead is a dystopian society where people are limited to certain actions. Throughout the story, Offred’s actions are rebellious because she has broken so many rules. Atwood demonstrates that restricted expression leads to rebellion by showing the Commanders and Offred’s affair developing throughout time and the actions of both characters.
There are two ways people will react to when their freedom is taken away. They will either accept it or rebel against it, which is what a lot of the female characters in Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale accomplished. Shown through Offred’s repetition of certain events, Moira’s tone of being a fighter, and Serena Joy’s desperation, the reader can see that lack of freedom leads to rebellion. Offred, the novel’s narrator, now lives in a world where women are powerless. She has had her freedom taken away, and at times follows the rules, but ends up rebelling in many powerful ways.
In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the protagonist, Offred, expresses her wish that her “story [is] different,” that it is “happier,” or at least “more active, less hesitant, less distracted” than it is ultimately portrayed (267). However, as her story is told, these characteristics are evident in the way she talks and acts, especially around those with authority. Hesitant to express her true thoughts and feelings, and distracted by memories from her previous life, Offred attempts to piece together her role in the society that has taken her freedom. The result is a compilation of moments, of memories, both from her present, her past, and even speculation about her future.
The novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has a great deal of quotes with strong meanings behind them. The quotes in the novel force you think because they apply to how people live their lives in our own society. One quote that I thought applied to some of my own personal experiences was from chapter 30, and it said “ You can’t help what you feel, Moira once said, but you can help how you behave” (192). In this quote the narrator contemplated her feelings toward Nick. She believes that she may like him, but doesn’t think it would be honorable to replace Luke, her husband from before.
Language has the power to raise people’s spirits or to install fear. In a patriarchal dystopian society the power of words is essential; using them gives the ability to take away freedom. Incorporating new words into literature can structure new meanings into a society. Using biblical references can have strong repercussions when used on an unassuming audience. Using language in your head can keep your thoughts alive.
In the novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, Gilead -the republic in which Offred resides- is a theocracy-a government in which there is no separation between church and state. Religious terminology and references are incorporated into everyday life; everything from the titles of civilians, to the names of the shops they frequent, to the automobiles they drive. This uses of biblical phraseology to describe all things in their society, provides an ever-constant insinuation that those who reign are acting with “God’s” warrant. However like in most theocracies, words get warped and taken out of context and used as justification for vile deeds and characteristics; especially those of the Old Testament. In the novel, many of the biblical quotes have been misrepresented.
In face of severe situation, people often feel relief when they think of happier, simpler times in order to alleviate the severity. In the fiction novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, a theocracy government controls every aspect of life in order to produce the best result of its plans. At the beginning of chapter 12, Offred takes a required, but luxurious bath because she can take off the burdensome wings and veils. While she bathes, Offred remembers her daughter from the past and a time with her family. Atwood compares Offred’s past and present through imagery, tone, similes, and symbolism combined with parallel structure to highlight the vulnerability of women to their surroundings.
The handmaids tale is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. Offred, the narrator, describes Gilead, as being a corrupt city where her rights were suppressed. Throughout the book we (the reader) are presented with many allusions, one of these being the bible. Atwood uses specific parts of the bible that glorifies marriage, convict women but absolve men of adultery for the purpose of childbirth to make the law’s in Gilead. Other Bible references that focus on meekness and humility has been used to dictate the handmaid’s behavior.
Further in the novel, we see Offred’s moral traits become even more compromised by her surroundings. When a black van with an eye painted on it drives by her, Offred’s fears that “there must have been microphones, they’ve heard us after all” (Bronte 169). Living in Gilead has taught her to fear her opinions of the society; those before her who rebelled all ended dead. When the police drag a man to the car and brutalize him, Offred’s first feeling is relief and says “What I feel is relief. It wasn’t me.”
Albert Camus once said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” In this quotation, Camus brings about an important interpretation of how the way of surviving in a world without freedom is to rebel. Once you are completely free your existence is considered an act of rebellion. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, freedom is taken away from both men and women but mostly women. The novel reveals that lack of freedom leads to rebellion and breaking rules as shown through the symbol of the match, the use of flashbacks, and the characterization of men.