Regina Carla L. Silva 2015-01293 The Handmaid’s Tale The novel is set in the Republic of Gilead which is formerly the United States of America. The name comes from a place from the Bible. It is a totalitarian, theocratic government. First, it is totalitarian which means that the government had control over every aspect in its citizens’ lives. This is why the government could dictate even the private lives of the people. It dictated how the handmaids spent their time, and how people interacted with each other, and also what goes on during the Ceremony. If the people did not follow, they could be reprimanded, or even worse, hung on the wall for everyone to see. Nothing was too personal for them not to delve into, and everything was under their …show more content…
They Aunts make the women believe that they are to be used by the Commanders to produce babies. This objectifies women and makes sex seem like a service or product. An example of that in the Philippines is the prostitution industry. In Angeles City and Olongapo City, prostitution is rampant where young women are products sold to men for sex. Also, the Commander’s household is comparable to the Philippine household. The man is in charge of the house, and he is to be followed at all the times. The women are assigned to more menial jobs like sewing, gardening, cooking, and shopping. Women were very limited with how they could spend their days. The Filipino families are dependent on the father to be the bread winner. The mother is usually expected to stay at home and take care of the children even at the expense of her career. The traditional gender roles are noticeable in the novel because the women were either in the homes or in the Red Center. The men could have different kinds of jobs and even rise to a higher social status. Women were to remain the same all through their …show more content…
The people who established the Republic of Gilead were religious extremists. They believed in their religion much that they felt the need to enforce it on everyone in the United States. They took the rules written in the scriptures literally which then makes them very strict because the rules are exact. Additionally, they have doctrines and beliefs that they teach to the people of the new society, and make them take is as the only truth. Religion in the Philippines works in the same fashion. Since the country is dominantly Roman Catholic, the laws made have some kind of religious perspective put into them. An example of this is the RH Law. The law covers multiple topics such as teaching sexual education in school, availability of contraceptives, the importance of family planning, and others. Although the law could be very beneficial for the development of the country, the Church is against many of these because of its beliefs about sex and marriage. It believes in values such as chastity, modesty, and purity. Having the RH Law would mean that people could be “unchaste” in their perspective without having to worry about the responsibility that comes with parenthood. In addition to that, there is no divorce in the
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From my personal research, the events in the novel were influenced by negative situations that involved the American society prior to the 1980’s. These negative aspects of Gilead’s religious society in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ were drawn from similar issues facing the American public prior to the 1980’ s. These issues were based on religious concepts that were thought to greatly improve the American population's standard of living. The main ideas that influenced the creation of certain events and
Power is not corrupt, people are. It’s evidently shown that in The Handmaid’s Tale those who thrive on greed and control will do whatever it takes to achieve their greatest desires, even if it means stripping away freedom and humanity from others. In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the Gileadean society dehumanises women as a tactic to gain control over them. Language, power, sex, and religion are means used to strip away individualism, all to create a twisted version of a perfect utopia.
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
Margaret Atwood created The Republic of Gilead, which is a society that is based on fertility and being able to have children. Gilead is in the former United States. This area has become overpolluted which has caused the birth rates to rapidly decline. Gilead was established to help save the population. The men are made to either be part of the military or to be a Commander, who runs a household and is responsible to “make” the babies.
Conformity in the Handmaid’s Tale A Japanese proverb says, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”. As seen in several historical events such as the Salem Witch Trials or the Holocaust, this concept illustrates the idea that nonconformity will get punished or suppressed. During the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler’s populist regime led to subservience out of fear because resistance was too dangerous.
In The Handmaid’s Tale, the effects of suspicion on a society, on handmaid’s, are clearly visible; it can also be seen that the government’s method of control leads to the creation of a dystopia. The Handmaid’s Tale proves that a society built on fear and shaped by suspicion achieves near total control of the population by the ruling class, the government of Gilead in this case. In chapter 42, Aunt Lydia describes how they will no longer announce the crimes that the prisoners have committed at the Salvagings. Once Offred learns this she states, “Now we are left to our own devices, speculation” (Atwood 275). Therefore, through Offered, the reader is able to see how the handmaid 's will now have suspicions of what the prisoners did to get hanged, since they are no longer being told.
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 Handmaid's Tale: A Cautionary Tale of the Corruption of Man Corruption isn’t just a critical characteristic of a ruling patriarchal regime, but an inherent flaw of human nature that rots a society to the core. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood, the dystopian setting of Gilead oppresses and mistreats women, men dictate what a woman should wear, and do and whether they can own anything or not. Mankind is not perfect, it is greedy and selfish, the men of Gilead use force to take advantage of women and create the “ideal” society that treats women like objects using patriarchal power systems and religious fundamentalism to justify their actions.
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
Conflict can be described as the struggle between two opposing forces, whether the forces being person vs person, person vs self or person vs society. Good examples of conflict can be found in almost any book. Margaret Atwood’s novel, the Handmaid’s Tale is a source of all three types of conflicts. The Handmaid’s Tale is about a society where females are given specific duties and are restricted from reading, writing, talking to others and looking at themselves in mirrors. The protagonist, Offred whom is also the narrator in the novel faces conflicts with herself, with other people, and the society that she lives in.
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.
This essay will discuss how The Handmaid 's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler represent religion. The Handmaid’s tale In the handmaid’s tale, The republic of Gilead is a fundamentalist Christian theocracy, meaning there is no separation between the state and religion. Gilead is built on the biblical idea that men are more important than women. The bible also has an important role in the naming of objects, buildings and people.
“Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.”- William Gaddis. People take advantage of power when it is entrusted to them because of their own greed, which as a result lead to societal deterioration. In the story, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, the higher-ups from Gilead abuse the power that is given to them, ruining the life of the citizens in the society. This was the cause for the need of higher birth rates and fixing conflicts in the world, but this was handled immorally.
Often, we see a society’s cultural values reflected in its citizens. For example, the United States values equality, a standard that is shared in all facets including gender. The opposite is true of Gilead, a fictional society in Emily Bronte’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The novel’s main character, Offred, is subjected to degrading treatment simply because she is a woman. It becomes apparent that this repeated degradation has affected the protagonist’s mind.