Utilitarianism In The Handmaid's Tale

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In Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, the basis on which Gilead rises is that of utilitarianism, with every person supposedly living to serve the greater good. The Republic of Gilead uses religious extremism to objectify women and oppress the women with archaic traditions. The duties of the ruling class are performed solely by men. Commanders are at the very top of the hierarchical pyramid and have the power to make every decision in Gilead. Women are second-class citizens in Gilead and, with the exception of the Wives and Daughters of the Commanders, have the role of serving the ruling class. The foundation of the Gileadean regime was built upon the notion that women are at fault for everything, yet they are ironically tasked with…show more content…
Gileadeans have issues with infertility and sterility (though it is never the man’s fault if a pregnancy does not happen) due to nuclear pollution, thus, the handmaids are imperative to the continuation and longevity of the Gileadean regime. Yet, Handmaids are at the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid. Handmaids are essentially forced into sexual slavery and ritualistically raped by their assigned Commanders so as to produce offspring. The only group below the Handmaids are the “Unwomen”, all women who refuse to comply with or have no use in the regime. They live in “the colonies” where there is deadly pollution. The women of Gilead endure this oppression and become complacent as a means of survival, the mentality of women is, thus, every woman for herself. They cannot work together to fight against the oppressive rules of regime as they are restricted by class, however, they may act independently through small autonomous acts. Consider the Mayday resistance fighting to destroy the regime; Mayday is “French…from M’aidez. Help me”. People from all sectors of Gilead are part of the resistance movement, trying to free themselves from the shackles of
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