What would become of the world, if our current societal flaws, such as sexism, racism, and classism were ingrained and executed at a systematic level? This is exactly what The Handmaid’s Tale set out to explore. The novel, which claims to be speculative fiction, is set in the theocratic Republic of Gilead (formerly the USA), where birth rates are rapidly declining and women have been marginalized by the patriarchal regime, forbidden to read, write or love and valued only if they are able to procreate. They are separated into classes, including Wives, Marthas, Aunts, Unwomen, and Handmaids, distinguishable only by the color of their clothing. The Handmaids are renamed by combining ‘of’ and the name of the Commander that they have been assigned to, stripping them of any individuality.
Offred is suspicious of what the handmaid 's did. She looks at their hands, and a clue is given to her when she sees “black gloves”(Atwood 275). She ponders what they could have possibly done to have warranted such action from the authorities. Her speculation shows how the society of Gilead functions. The government of Gilead wants the handmaids to see that the prisoners are being hanged, as their suspicion is how Gilead gains control of them.
One of the factors used by the characters in the two novels for their survival is conformity. An example of conformity that plays an important role in the two novels is clothing. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the classifications of each individual are conformed by different clothing. The Handmaids wear red dresses, Marthas wear green, Wives wear blue, Ecowives wear stripes dresses of the three colours, and Commanders and the Angels wear black clothing. According to Offred from The Handmaid's Tale, “The wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us from seeing, but also from being seen” (Atwood 9).
The Religion Influences in The Handmaid’s Tale Word Count: 1563 This purpose of this essay is to establish and explain connections between the Christian Religion and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. It is not attempting to point out flaws or discriminate against the religion. Margret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a dystopian novel, that centres around the themes of corruption, oppression, and theocracy. Told in the first person, the novel follows the female ‘Offred’ in her daily life/activities and past experiences in the newly founded “Republic of Gilead”.
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.
It is narrated by the protagonist, Offred who is a handmaid forced into sexual servitude. Facing a plunging birth rate, the fundamentalist regime treats women as property of the state. Handmaids are the few of the remaining fertile women and their sole purpose is to help the government into re-populating their society, where a lot of people are left sterile. The Handmaid’s Tale deals with the theme of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society, primarily. It shows the struggle that women have to go through in that society, as a Handmaid or as not being able to be one.
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.
Outward conformity along with inward questioning, that is what the main character, presented in Margaret Artwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, has to undertake in order to survive in a theocratic society. Stepping out of line in any way risks your life, so in a place where freedom of speech and basic human right’s no longer apply, Offered must comply with whatever rules they have in place and pretend to agree with the system, but in the inside, she cannot help but think about her past life, her husband, her daughter, before everything began. Flashbacks are integrated in the novel to not only compare the old society with the new one, but to also demonstrate this fake conformity Offred has to display to others and her internal struggle with giving up on escaping the Republic or just accepting her fate and playing by
This year is the 30th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Atwood 's dystopian classic, The Handmaid 's Tale. The novel is told from a first person account of a young woman, Offred. In an age of declining births, she is forced to become a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, the imagined future in the United States. The Handmaids are to provide children by the substitution of infertile women of a higher social status. Through the creation of different characteristics of female characters – ones who are submissive yet rebellious, and like to take advantage of their power - Margaret Atwood portray themes of love, theocracy, rebellion, and gender roles.
She knows that there are laws, but she is so desperate that she is willing to break them by suggesting this to Offred, “Maybe you should try it another way”(Atwood 204). She encourages Offred to break the law and have sexual intercourse with another man and plant it as the commander’s child. Her desperation make her take desperate actions and how she achieves to rebel against the government. The Commander the one above all and on top of the official classification of Gilead-Men. He has power and in control of the household.
Atwood clearly emphasizes this point through the inclusion of Offred 's inner thoughts; which in turn, help to illuminate to the reader the process of this deterioration. Atwood also shows how the Republic of Gilead uses totalitarianism tactics, which parallel those used in North Korea, in order to remain in control. In The Handmaid’s tale, a dystopian novel, Margaret Atwood uses imagery and allusion throughout the novel to illustrate how the republic of Gilead uses techniques to deteriorate one 's mind in order to maintain their power. Throughout the dystopian country
The Handmaid 's Tale is one of Margaret Atwood most famous novels written during the spring of 1984, when the Berlin wall was still standing. Atwood creates a dystopia, which mostly consists of gender gap and oppression. The Handmaid 's Tale effectively portrays the United States as the modern-day totalitarian society of Gilead, which was illustrated as perfect by using the book of Genesis. Although the authors ideas are inherently and completely fictional, several concepts throughout his book have common links to the past and present society which the author herself calls a speculative fiction. The author uses a totalitarian system which includes aspects of Soviet system, to describe, deprivation, repression and terror with the use of
To begin, the foundation of every government’s power has always been fear. Governments depend on public fear to secure societal position. Tracing back to thousands of years ago, governments relied primarily on conquests. The research author Robert Higgs argues, “Losers who were not slain in the conquest itself had to endure the consequent rape and pillage and in the long term to acquiesce in the continuing payment of tribute to the insistent rulers.” In other words, Higgs’s point emphasizes that the government violently conquested lands and hence attacked people living there in the old times.
Offred struggles between her attraction to Nick and remaining faithful to Luke. In the end of the novel, Offred ends up giving in to her attraction to Nick, however she does not feel that she has betrayed Luke in any way. Both gentlemen fulfill needs of Offed at different times of her life. Luke only exists in her past life, and most of Offred’s memories with him are fading away as she struggles to remember certain details of her past. Offred thinks, “The fact is that I no longer want to leave, escape, cross the border to freedom.
In the 1980s, United States was experiencing the rise of conservatism. Under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, conservative religious groups were gaining popularity. In response to the social and political landscape, Canadian author Margaret Atwood published a fictional novel The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986; a genre of dystopian novels. The storyline projects an imaginary futuristic world where society lives under oppression and illusion of a utopian society maintained through totalitarian control. Dystopian novels often focus on current social government trends and show an exaggeration of what happens if the trends are taken too far.