Foster suggests, “...sex can be pleasure, sacrifice, submission, rebellion, resignation, supplication, domination, enlightenment, the whole works” (158). The Handmaids must submit to their Commanders as they hold the dominant role. The Handmaids are also sacrificing their bodies and fertility to their Commander and his wife in order to give them a child. They have all been renamed with names that signify the Commanders they serve: Offred, Ofglen, Ofcharles, Ofwarren, etc. These names show the Commanders’ possession of the Handmaids.
They were told that all this was for the greater good of society. The handmaid 's were told that their sacrifice is a noble thing. Gilead is a theocracy, it is a government where church and state are combined. This is the most effective form of control. The oppressing government of Gilead combines their message of power with that of god.
Imagine a nation, in which its government commands by a religion where women are separated into different titles and must conceive children for their commander. Their rights from before this regime, and anything deemed unholy by the government, are a thing of the past. This situation is the one depicted in the Republic of Gilead, where the rules of society and its traditions are not taken lightly if broken. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood shows that an oppressive government leads to the inevitable neglect and remiss of the law through Offred’s characterization, irony, and flashbacks. Offred's character development can show that her attitude towards the law changes over the course of her experience in the Republic of Gilead.
In the totalitarian and theocratic state of Gilead, Woman who are fertile and thus still retain the ability to reproduce, are assigned to a Commander – A high ranking military official of the Gilead society. The only distinction between these individual fertile women is whose property they belong to. So the handmaid’s names are a combination of the word “of” and the name of their commander. That is why the main character is called Offred, as well as other handmaids being called Ofglen and etc. The aim of this is to strip these women of all their individuality.
Her name means that she is under the property of a man named Fred. The first part of her name ‘Of’ is the prefix that is given to all the Handmaids. Thus, this can also be seen as another example of how women are not equal since they belong to men. A quote to prove the Handmaid’s uniforms can be seen through a passage in Atwood’s novel titled The Handmaid’s Tale which
A major theme in The Handmaid 's Tale by Margaret Atwood is how restriction of women 's sexuality leads to loss of power and is inherently anti-feminist. This is shown primarily in two major topics- ban of abortion and censorship of pornography; both topics are depicted differently in the classic novel and modern televised adaptation. Atwood’s writing shows strong pro-choice themes by incorporation of historic events in the context of the novel. Her dystopian society, Gilead shows the life of June, a Handmaid surviving in an oppressive society where women have been stripped of all rights and are forced to continually try for conception. The treatment of women in Gilead reflects past and present views of women in reference to abortion and
The Handmaid’s Tale was able to provide more clear, and specific description which help the reader visualize and allow the reader to show more interest. Camus was able to provide a description but not a description which went above and beyond what Atwood was able to provide. Camus had strong key points as
According to Alanna A. Callaway, Gilead’s entire power structure relies on the disunity of women. Although Gilead’s system oppresses women, it is the few women in power that make the caste system dangerous for Handmaids. The patriarchal power structure of Gilead needs women to regulate each other, suggesting that gynocentric misogyny, or women hating women, is far more dangerous than traditional misogyny (Callaway 2008). This being said, the genuine threat in Gilead is not from the men in power, but the
The patriarchal society, most of the time, is one of the important reasons behind turning the women bodies into objects with having control over their bodies. However, the most arguable question is: is there a way out? Can women survive these oppressions that resulted from objectifying heir bodies? In The Handmaid’s Tale, Mayday came to Offred’s rescue, but as what she said it is an vague way out: “whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can’t be helped.”