The New Government In The Handmaid's Tale

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The Handmaid's Tale is a story that is set in the near future. After a military coup and the assassination of the President, a group of right-wing fundamentalists takes over and establishes the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic state of absolute control. The rules of this state are very rigid, and every aspect of society is controlled by religious fanatics. The main goal of the new government is the increasing of the white population as pollution and war have resulted in a graphic drop of the birth-rate. Victims of this main goal are the women in Gilead, who are deprived of their legal rights and pushed back into their traditional roles as mothers or servants. According to age, fertility and background, they are divided into several classes (Wives, Aunts, Handmaids, Marthas, Econowives and Unwomen). Young and fertile women are the Handmaids in this new state. They have to live in the households of former high-ranking officials or other influential members of society (the Commanders and their Wives) and are…show more content…
The new state is a patriarchal, conservative state, whose ideology is based on a certain religion. All other religious groups (such as Quakers, Baptists, Catholics or Jews) and other minorities such as homosexuals or Blacks are not only treated in an intolerant way but they are also persecuted. Everyone else has a certain role in society and has to pretend to believe in the state if they want to survive. A very significant characteristic of the state that Offred describes is that the new ideology is based upon biblical ideas from the Old Testament. The new regime uses the literal interpretation of the Bible as a pretext to suppress the population. Therefore, biblical influences in The Handmaid's Tale as the ideological basis of the Republic of Gilead are a recurrent theme throughout the book that deserves further
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