The Handmaid's Tale Essays

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The Handmaid's Tale Essays

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    You are granted power and want to alter a situation in order to benefit yourself. How do you do it? In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, individuals with power are found in situations they feel they need to change. They work to accomplish this change, by modifying and even twisting moral views to an interpretation that is advantageous to them. Power leads to the corruption of values, which is illustrated by the Gilead setting, the Aunts’ character, and the use of Offred’s first person narrative.

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    Women’s Body The Figuration of the female body is well described in both Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Both novels show that the women bodies are not their own and controlled by others which it turned into an object in order to survive. In this paper, I would like to argue how the objectification of the female bodies in both novels resulted in their oppression and sufferings. Moreover, what is the definition of the figuration of a body to both Offred and Firdaus? And is there a way out to survive this tragedy in both novels?

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    Religion Magnifies Males ' Mindsets Religions influence followers to put religion as their first priority—encouraging them to devote their lives to it. Unfortunately, this complete control of their lives creates ideal followers, without individuality/uniqueness, which renders one follower as useless. Since the followers receive power when working together, one follower has no power. For example, monotheocracies have control through religion and the government (two major leaders in society). Moreover, monotheocracies domination over their people eases oppression as Iran influences their people through religious holy wars (jihads) and veils (hijabs) for women.

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    The novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a story about a society set in a future world where women’s rights have been revoked. Many values change with this new regime of controlled women and strict laws. Despite the changes in the world it maintains many conservative, religious beliefs while also containing liberal, feminist beliefs simultaneously. Society in the futuristic world of Gilead is structured heavily off of readings from the Bible and traditional views of gender that have been in place for a long time. An example of the Bible being an important part of society is the idea of the Handmaids came from a passage in the Bible about two women, Rachel and Leah.

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    Asia Ihsan Section 5 Professor: Alex Poppe 11/6/2015 Gilead Republic is Successful in Reeducating Women Margaret Atwood, in her novel The Handmaid's Tale describes a futuristic, dystopian society called Gilead republic in which the system imposes Christianity religion as the main source for their laws. At the root of the laws is Patriarchy by which roles of the women only condensed to the roles that are assigned to them in Old Testament. All of the events that happening in the Republic of Gilead have happened at some point in history. This makes the novel realistic and authentic so that the reader can have better understanding of the purpose of the novel and its messages.

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    The story takes place in the Republic of Gilead in 1900s, it was said to have replaced the United States of America. The narrator was said to be in a high school gymnasium which was later identified to be the Women’s Center, a training ground for the handmaids. The handmaids are women who are bound by the government to conceive a child for the elite couples who are having trouble in acquiring their child. Women of Gilead turned to be infertile because of radiation and pollution which was perceived as a major crisis since it led for a dramatic decrease natality in their land.

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    Margaret Atwood has seamlessly woven a tapestry of feminist elements - mainly regarding gender oppression - within her works. With that, using two of Atwood’s texts, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Year of The Flood, as the foundation for our literary research, we will be focusing on the commodification of the female flesh in both similar dystopian contexts. Commodification refers to the action or process of treating an object, or a person, as a raw material or product that can be bought and sold, or even treated as an object of which sovereignty can be held over by one. In both works, women are victimized and treated as sexual beings whose bodies and physical expressions can be freely used by the men who have power over them against their will. The two texts illustrate how society brings about the oppression of women and this exacerbates the commodification of women.

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    In the Novel, “The Handmaid's Tale”, by Margaret Atwood, the purpose of the wall was to feed fear into the people of Gilead. For example, Atwood states in her story that, “Were supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the wall.” (Atwood 32). With this being said the narrator shows how the people from Gilead all went to see the fearful wall because of the hanging of people. People were hung for their mistakes.

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    Words speak louder than Action The usage of language is really important in the story, the author starts his/ her expression of ideas by using languages from which reader can able to identify the feeling or emotions of a character. Using proper and meaning full language is highly effected on stories. At first, when the reader starts reading a story, the first thing is to understand the language, author uses “Figurative Languages” which helps to define the feeling in other words. Author Atwood expresses her ideas through the use of powerful language in “The Handmaid’s Tale” so that the reader gains new perceptions about the purpose or the theme of the story.

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    This is an important quotation in the novel because of the simplicity of the diction Atwood utilizes to describe her body. It emphasizes the changeover from what Offred once thought of her body to what Gilead now brainwashed her into believing. Women appreciation has transformed from a wholehearted appreciation for the purity and simplicity of a woman to solely interest in their “central object”, their womb. Offred’s musings show that she has started to accept Gilead’s attitude toward women, which treats them as objects important only for the children that they can bear. Gilead, with these beliefs dehumanizes women and reduces them to “a cloud, congealed around a central

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    In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the protagonist, Offred, expresses her wish that her “story [is] different,” that it is “happier,” or at least “more active, less hesitant, less distracted” than it is ultimately portrayed (267). However, as her story is told, these characteristics are evident in the way she talks and acts, especially around those with authority. Hesitant to express her true thoughts and feelings, and distracted by memories from her previous life, Offred attempts to piece together her role in the society that has taken her freedom. The result is a compilation of moments, of memories, both from her present, her past, and even speculation about her future.

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    Worldwide Scrabble Language is a splendid way of communication that it affects people’s relationships starting from the first step of creating identities to creating cultures; making one feel belonged to or estranged from a place, it is a form of connection and discrimination. Thinking of one’s mind as a liquid, language is the box that shapes the liquid, that it has a great influence on the way one thinks. Due to this, in the dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, one of the first things that is changed by the dictator government that want to restrict and brainwash the society is the language, and through banning words that remind people of their old lives and adding new ones that have religious connotations and also feel people estranged, they gain power and prove their dominance over the community. In the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood conveys the idea that language is used to dehumanize and alienate people through the example of the various usage of language by the government of Gilead. First step of dehumanizing is making people feel detached from their identities, as one would not feel dehumanized when they still have the idea of an ideal “I” in their mind, thus the government forbids the usage of names.

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    Handmaid's Tale Essay

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    Society can both be really great and progress forward, but at times society can turn for the worst and progress backwards. In Margaret Atwood’s Fictional book The Handmaid’s Tale. The main character Offred in the Republic of Gilead as a handmaid. In the book the purpose of a handmaid is to reproduce and bear children for older, wealthier men whose wives cannot have children. In addition to being a handmaid Offred and all the women of Gilead are not allowed to read, write, own money, or dress immodest.

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    Imagine living in a world where roles are given, freedom is taken, and you must abide to the rules unjust to everyone. Would you fight back, or reluctantly follow these oppressive rules? Offred is an independent and emotional woman who is forced into labor. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, women are forced into certain labor based on their fertility and status in this new society. Both men and women have become oppressed for the sake of the country.

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    The Handmaid's Tale Essay

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    In The Handmaid’s Tale, the patriarchal society that is in occurrence relies on men to control over economic, social and political practices. The enforcement of stereotypical gender roles identifies the place of men and women in Gilead. Male individuals are placed at the top of the social structure; Commanders, Eyes, and Guardians control the public sphere and moderate governmental rule, make trade, and maintain security. Women’s roles tend to the private sphere with jobs including married Wives, Handmaids being “fruitful women who are barren” (Atwood 57), and Marthas which work to complete household needs. The gender stereotypes of having men maintain jobs which hold power while forbidding these roles from women and imposing them to complete

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    Robert A. Heinlein once said, “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.” In human nature, people tend to act upon the way they feel, and those feelings are often a result of their surroundings, the world they live in. The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel, written by Margaret Atwood reflects this. The novel reflects how the more something is implemented, the greater the temptation is to do otherwise as shown through the Commander and Offred’s relationship, the society’s desperation for a baby, and the novel’s first person point of view.

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    The society of lower class women in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood may not be fictional. With a community where social respect and power is based on luck, through status and fertility. Men are lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouths or at least more that the what women would receive. They have the power to change rules of society without democracy. Offred, the main character in this novel is told her new world she has 'freedom from, rather than freedom to '.

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    Living in a society filled with standards, restrictions and ideals, yet we pertain this idea that our world is worthy. Worthy of the sacrifices women make. Worthy of the limits homosexuals follow. Worthy of the lives being controlled. Our world has experienced these perceptions through the past and the present, but will it advance through the future?

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    I found the clerk to be interesting because he was different from most of the characters at that time. The clerk did not care about worldly things like most of the other characters in the tale. Instead of spending his money to look like he is from a high social class, the clerk spent money on books that help him expand his knowledge. Through the knowledge he gained from the books, the clerk was wiser than the other characters in the tale. His actions were different from the actions of other people during that time.

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    Thesis: Atwood alerts us that it is important to remember who you are. We have all heard our parents tell us to never forget who we are, but many of us don’t know the true meaning of remembering who we are. Does it mean to remember where we came from? Or where were going? Or remember what we have been taught?

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