The Handmaid's Tale Essays

  • The Handmaid's Tale Theme

    1426 Words  | 6 Pages

    you do if your life was radically changed? Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale describes such an event. In this book, the main character Fred experiences many terrible events after the United States government falls and is replaced with The Republic of Gilead. Theme is an important aspect of writing in all works of literature. The Handmaid’s Tale is no exception to this trend of themes in stories. As such The Handmaid’s Tale features many themes. Three such themes in this book are identity,

  • Passivity In The Handmaid's Tale

    1407 Words  | 6 Pages

    to act freely and have a voice in society, is an inherent danger of being passive. If anything, it can lead to further problems from not standing up and taking action. In The Handmaid’s Tale, in the beginning when women are passive, it leads them to lose their rights, however it is evident throughout

  • Government In The Handmaid's Tale

    1523 Words  | 7 Pages

    The amount of power a government should have has been and always will be a controversial topic. In The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian fiction novel by Margaret Atwood, the government of the Republic of Gilead is incredibly powerful. The protagonist, Offred, is a handmaid in this theocratic state that has replaced the United States. A handmaid’s sole purpose in society is to have children for elite couples who cannot conceive a child. In Gilead, women have no freedom, as they are constantly watched

  • Femininity In The Handmaid's Tale

    1008 Words  | 5 Pages

    cultural constructs of femininity, identity, and the extent of government control. The story explores the affects social and political trends have on society. The Handmaid’s Tale evaluates gender roles and the subjugation of women. Atwood’s use of aphorisms, symbolism, and allusions urges readers to examine the juxtaposition of cruelty and vulnerability in femininity. Throughout the novel, aphorisms play a large role in depicting the role of women as subservient to their male counterparts. By altering

  • Symbolism In 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    1284 Words  | 6 Pages

    List three instances where each symbol appears in The Handmaid's Tale -- copy the text or describe what was happening in that section (including page numbers). Then write an explanation of the significance of that appearance (why was it important?). Last, write a paragraph analyzing the broader meaning of the symbol in The Handmaid's Tale. The Color Red: Chapters: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19 Offred mentions, The bell that measures time is ringing. Time here is measured by bells, as

  • Misogyny In The Handmaid's Tale

    1385 Words  | 6 Pages

    Sexuality is often considered taboo, yet that did not stop Margaret Atwood from exploring it in depth in her 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Set in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a handmaid named Offred shares her story. Throughout her journey, the restriction of sexuality, as a form of power for women, makes the Republic of Gilead a misogynistic state. This is revealed through ideas of sexuality from feminist movements, the implicated of women in the Ceremony and inappropriate relationships

  • Identity In Handmaid's Tale

    1454 Words  | 6 Pages

    Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale depicts the Republic of Gilead in a futuristic setting where, a totalitarian state concerned with the declining birth rates, attained power in a major coup. The theocratic state takes complete control of reproduction among other aspects of women’s freedom by marginalizing the social group. In fact, the Handmaid’s are a select group of fertile, young women whose worth are judged solely on their reproductive abilities in a Commander's household. Written in the 1980’s

  • Gender In The Handmaid's Tale

    1489 Words  | 6 Pages

    they relate to the events of the modern world. I’m your host, Erin Grasmeyer, and today’s episode will be discussing Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale and how our world may not be so far off from becoming just like Gilead. For those who don’t know, or need a refresher of the contents of the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of a woman named Offred, who is a Handmaid in Gilead, a totalitarian state rooted in sexist values. Reproductive rates in Gilead are low due

  • An Analysis Of The Handmaid's Tale

    1378 Words  | 6 Pages

    The present paper focusses on Atwood’s widely acclaimed and thought provoking novel ‘‘The Handmaid’s Tale’’(1985)focused on the theme of the domination and ruthless governing of women by men. The novel presents a world where freedom of women is impeded on account of the new Christian Government’s extreme policies.It portrays a futuristic picture of the new republic that throws away the U.S. Constitution and establishes the Republic of Gilead in which women are viewed only as reproductive machines

  • Sexism In The Handmaid's Tale

    1446 Words  | 6 Pages

    especially true authors of Dystopic novels. Writers like George Orwell and Margaret Atwood, use their works to depict social issues and political issues like sexism (Atwood), and surveillance (Orwell and Atwood) in society. In Atwood's book The Handmaid's tale, the main character Offred is a woman living in a theocracy who has been denied the right to own property, to work, and to read. She is also a handmaid, one of the few fertile women left in a future world whose only job is to provide children

  • Humanity In The Handmaid's Tale

    1822 Words  | 8 Pages

    In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale, humanity is portrayed as a cyclically flawed being. Through the use of extended metaphors, allusions, and flashback descriptions of the past, the world created is meant to reflect reality and the shifts in societies as they occur. However, Atwood’s ultimate purpose is to not only show that nations and cultures collapse and rise in the place of their ancestors, but that this constant push and pull is created by man’s own inability to change. The depicted,

  • Passivity In Handmaid's Tale

    741 Words  | 3 Pages

    In the book A Handmaid’s Tale passivity is a common theme throughout Offred’s journey as a handmaid. In this context, passivity is allowing others to do things to you without complaining or pushing back to protect oneself and to keep oneself safe from harm or cruel treatment. There are several instances in which Offred is forced to be passive in order to please the people who have Offreds life in their hands. In the position that Offred is in as a handmaid, she is expected to do as her commander

  • Flashback In The Handmaid's Tale

    1277 Words  | 6 Pages

    Even the disturbing yet disconnected story of infant-snatching turns out to be foreshadowing for the stealing of her daughter, living safe somewhere in Gilead and all but dead to her mother (Atwood 206). This is the common thread that ties these flashbacks together: they are all pictures of her suffering, and whether they focus on her past life or her present, they are all problems that she continues to face. As she builds her resolve against the tyranny of Gileadean society, Offred’s memories become

  • Disobedience In Handmaid's Tale

    1448 Words  | 6 Pages

    Oscar Wilde argues that disobedience furthers a society by evoking a change, one that creates positive impacts. In Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the Republic of Gilead forces Offred to the assignment of bearing children to promote social progress and order. Offred is stripped from her identity by being forced to wear a certain dress and by not being allowed to talk. Throughout the novel, Offred begins to question the purpose of such system, in which human rights are void; however, in a system

  • Freedom In Handmaid's Tale

    718 Words  | 3 Pages

    Freedom is something that we all want, we are all born with it. Yet there are places where freedom is not a born right, but a privilege. In the United States we have the freedom to do whatever we want as long as it stays within the law. However not all nations have this privilege like China where the government controls the internet and Russia where the news is controlled by the government. When we see and hear the amount of freedom people from other nations get, we speak to the T.Vs and the radios

  • The Commander In The Handmaid's Tale

    1341 Words  | 6 Pages

    Character Development Throughout The Handmaid’s Tale Commander: The Commander is the most important male character in the novel. To Offred (The narrator), the Commander symbolizes control, domination and imprisonment. The character endured much development as the story went on. In the introduction of the story, the Commander is pictured as a tall, strong, unapprochable character with alot of authority. The readers are fully aware that the Commander is one of the founder of the Gilead and is reponsible

  • The Plague Vs The Handmaid's Tale

    1435 Words  | 6 Pages

    The books The Handmaid’s Tale and The Plague are exemplary examples of extraordinary novels. Both novels take the reader on an exhilarating ride of suspense, mystery, and joyfulness. Both novels are very high quality literature which the reader can easily recognize by reading the two dystopian classic books. The Handmaid’s Tale stands out greater than The Plague relating to symbolism, description, etc. The Handmaid’s Tale was superior than The Plague because of its superior usage of symbolism, characterization

  • Sexual Inequality In The Handmaid's Tale

    855 Words  | 4 Pages

    mothers, and wives (Womenspeak). The Handmaid’s Tale is a story about power, control, and sexuality. Although it is just a book, and to some people, it might seem like sexual inequality could never happen, this has happened and it is still happening in most countries. Sexual inequality sets unfair standards in society and needs to change. This can clearly be seen through the effects of power, control, and sexuality that is withheld from women. In the Handmaid's Tale, the government has taken every possible

  • The Influence Of Language In The Handmaid's Tale

    994 Words  | 4 Pages

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood takes place in the totalitarian theocratic regime of Gilead. This society used biblical language and omission of information to manipulate the general public into submission. Offred has a powerful understanding of how language can influence the population as she experiences it firsthand and uses the same power as a recorder. The recorder has a power that contrasts with her role in the Commander’s household. As the recorder of her own story she controls its

  • ' The Handmaid's Tale: A Dystopian Society?

    807 Words  | 4 Pages

    How would you feel if you were controlled by a society? In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead is a dystopian society where people are told what to do and what not to do. Margaret Atwood demonstrates that restricted expression leads to rebellious actions by showing the rules being broken by the Commanders and Offred’s relationship as it’s developing. Although, society tells them they are restricted to certain actions, they disregard these rules and do what they desire. The Commander and Offred’s