Women's Role In Handmaids

670 Words3 Pages
In the Republic of Gilead women that are chosen to become Handmaids have one main purpose, and that is reproduction. Handmaids are assigned to Commanders in order to repopulate as birth rates drastically declined. Offered, the protagonist, is given this role because, in the precursor to Gilead, she broke the newly established social laws. Once the government collapsed and turmoil ensued, people lost their rights, mainly the women. These women are no longer looked at as human beings. Instead, they are merely a child-bearer with whom no emotional connection is permitted. Their only value lies in their ability to produce viable offspring. If they do not, they are declared “unwoman” and sent off to the colonies. They are taught to be complacent…show more content…
Religion became the governing body, and all of the new practices and laws were formed from strict Christian beliefs. This new society was similar to biblical times, except was intertwined with the technology of the modern day. So, the new laws were applied to the past as well. Because Offred broke the newly established social laws, she was made into a handmaiden to repent for her sin. Although this sin was done by her and Luke, she was the only one punished. Since the collapse, Offred has little to comfort her because of her lack of freedom. However, as time goes on this new way of life became her normal. In both societies women were oppressed in some ways, but the way in which Gilead did seemed so insane because it was merely a new idea. To impose this subjectivity they used different means. Firstly, they use a certain type of language, event the absence language, to maintain the oppression of women. An example of this is the reading ban placed on women. Secondly, they use actions or violence, which represent a more direct and harsh type of oppression, like Salvaging or when Moira was beaten for trying to escape the Red Center. The combination of these two allows the government to maintain its control of women in Gilead. this means in Gilead is that certain statements, for example that women should not be allowed to dress the way they like lies within…show more content…
Objectors were persecuted or killed, so few rejected the new principles out of fear. Once the conversion has been made to this new way of life, people were denied the right to knowledge. Like the Theory Toolbox states, “if you can’t visualize things differently, you’re a prisoner of conventional wisdom”(Nealon & Giroux 6). The Gileadean government is purposely doing this, hiding the truth from people, so their new way of life will just become a “natural fact” for younger generations. Keeping people in ignorance, whether they are aware or not, is an important device for such a regime, since a person cannot exert any resistance without the knowledge of a possible alternative. This strict regime hinders people like Offred from questioning and uprising. Offred’s new identity is dependent and controlled by the government that took away her old identity. Because of the lack of individuality it was easy for the government to put a label on each person and force them into a life they may not
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