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 …show more content…
The novel has created a society in which the only two important beliefs in a society are the ability to procreate and a strict belief in God. As mentioned above, Gilead was depicted as perfect by using the book of Genesis. The Handmaid 's tale holds several biblical references , some are obvious than others but most of them have been altered. The most important in a state of opinion would be. “It’s the usual story, the usual stories. God to Adam, God to Noah. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth [...]. Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God’s stead, who bath withheld from the fruit of the womb? [..]and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children of her.” (Atwood 88) This verse was read to the Handmaid 's everyday at breakfast and before the ceremony just to drill it in their minds, even though most of them know those were not the right textual evidence from the Bible. The police are called “Guardians of the Faith” which suggest that they are guarding the beliefs of Gilead. Another biblical allusion depicted would be the Angels, so they are called. But they were simply Guards. “Carried by two angels” (Atwood 91) They are most likely driven from “Archangels” who symbolize strength, protection, and guardianship. “The Angels stood outside in with their backs to us. They were objects of fear to
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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
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
The society in this book is basically the epitome of a dystopia. It has a totalitarian government and everything about the world the people live in is a frightening nightmare. The government has completely dehumanized the way people live their lives. People in this dystopia aren’t even actually human any more. They aren’t even born the natural way through reproduction, they are created.
“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body”. When Margaret Sanger spoke these words, she was expressing her belief on a woman’s right to have an abortion. This quote, however, speaks to the fact that women are oppressed on more than just abortions. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Atwood portrays the dehumanization of sexuality through both the characters and events within the novel, therefore proving that women will always be considered less than men will. Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1939.
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.
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 novel, the main character Offred tells her tale as a handmaid and, how her and the other characters rebel towards the oppressive government. Offred, the only source of information, therefore the reader only knows what she tells them.
In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Offred has a continuous search for justice for her daughter, in a society in which her idea of justice is starts as one concept and changes to one that she never expected. Margaret Atwood writes Offred as a character who was at once strong-willed, and who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Her strength is dimmed at first, when her daughter and husband are first taken from her. Her strength, however comes back in full force when she finds the opportunity to get justice for her daughter. Offred uses the motivation of her daughter to spur a rebellious side of her that disappeared when the new leaders came into power.
In the Handmaid 's Tale power is used to control the women and sort them into certain gender roles. Each women in the society of Gilead is assigned a certain job that is stereotypical of a woman 's job such as cooking, sex, and reproduction. These women are the lowest class in Gilead and have no control. The men have superior power of the women but the women such as Ofgeln and Offred gain control in power in their lives. Men have an upper hand in the control of these women.
Works of literature often portray ideas relating to Marxist theory, this is why in a dystopian society, class distinctions dominate the social climate, using Marxist ideologies as a tool to define the lives of the narrator and those around her. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, ideologies from Marxist theory dominate the society in which Offred, the narrator, lives in, evidenced by the strict class systems and limited interaction between them. In writing the novel, Atwood makes a point to create a world that could exist using technology and ideas already accessible in today’s society, meaning the events that take place in The Handmaid’s Tale could happen in present day. Offred lives in a reality where class distinctions dominate society, and women, especially fertile women. These women are displaced downwards, although there are those women who attempt to resist the grip of society.
The society of both novel, “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” shares familiar methods in order to maintain higher power to control lower class citizens. Their absolute goal to gain complete dominance is through removing or destroying a piece of humanity in order for disobedience or rebellion to be impossible. Gilead and Ingsoc constantly condition citizens by monitoring and invading their privacy. Both regimes employed similarly styles of monitoring, such as spies organisations or simply through the surveillance camera.
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.
One’s power can be abused due to indolence; it ruins the lowest social class. In the handmaid 's tale, the Handmaids are treated poorly, making the person no longer themselves. The reader learns that Offred is being told what to do and has no say for her opinion, since it is against the law to go against the government. According to the handmaid’s tale, "You go out through the door and turn right. There 's another door, it 's open.
However, Atwood depicts the Republic of Gilead in “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Both “The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are dystopian novels that have many similarities, however they have some differences. Collins’ and Atwood’s novels hold similarities in their ideas of societal categories, identification of these sections, constant surveillance, and public punishments. In both societies, the citizens are split into groups. In Panem, there were 13 districts and in Gilead, there were many categories of men and women.
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.