Theme Of Fear In Handmaid's Tale

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The Fear Itself "Fear is a powerful stimulant" (Atwood 268). The novel Handmaid 's Tale is a story that takes place in a dystopian society where in order to increase the fertility rate women who are able to have children are distributed across the country and are encouraged to have babies from the Commanders. Like most of the dystopian novels, the focus of the story is how people are oppressed in the name of fear. Fear is used as a controlling mechanism to keep people in check and stop them from rising up. In the book, fear is too strong of a feeling that it creates the base of most of the emotions and actions. Atwood emphasizes this idea by having different characters symbolise various stages of fear. By doing so she proves that even when there is an…show more content…
The Answer is that people behind Gilead make all of their moves calculated and their most powerful weapon is fear. They play with the idea of fear starting from the very beginning which is the takeover of the government. Gilead starts to form with religious extremist groups wanting to save America from what it had become. Therefore, Gilead is based on religion. Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, says "Religion is based primarily and mainly upon fear... Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death"(Carlisle). Thus, when everything is controlled by religion in the society it would also mean it is controlled by fear. Religion creates an excuse for anything they do and fear of going against what religion is telling people to do makes them very easy to manipulate. Gilead is proof that how people change the religion, Bible in this case, in order for it to fit their narrative and use it to oppress others. One way they did this was by using salvagings or hangings to show what happens to people who did not follow the rules, did something against religion. During the Particicution they bring out a man who is accused of rape. Aunt Lydia points out "The
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