Preview
Preview

Feminism Lost in Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale Essay example

:: 12 Works Cited
Length: 1523 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, the human spirit has evolved to such a point that it cannot be subdued by complacency. Atwood shows Gilead as an extremist state with strong religious connotations. We see the outcome of the reversal of women’s rights and a totalitarian government which is based on reproduction. Not only is the government oppressive, but we see the female roles support and enable the oppression of other female characters. “This is an open ended text,…conscious of the possibilities of deconstruction, reconstruction, and reinterpretation … Atwood engages in metafictional commentary …in her storytelling and by the time the reader arrives at the text, Atwood has already told and retold the story, questioned and hedged, changed the context, deconstructed and reconstructed the narrative.” (Univ of Toronto)
“The history of women is the history of the worst form of tyranny the world has ever known; the tyranny of the weak over the strong. It is the only tyranny that lasts.” - Oscar Wilde
The climate during the 1980’s was the suppression of women, The Handmaid’s Tale illustrated the political climate of the times. The book is based in part on the authors’ travels to socialist Soviet countries where people did not talk to anyone out of fear of retribution from the Soviet government. In 1980, the women’s movement was in its infancy and the Soviet Union was still deeply entrenched in the patriarchal tradition. Feminist Tatyana Mamonova, forced into exile by the Soviet government for her feminist activities, stated “communication among women is still very hard, very conspiratorial. We are taught in school that we are already emancipated, and so there isn’t really any sense of feminist consciousness…this ...


... middle of paper ...


...uarterly. Summer 2006. Vol. 75 Issue 3. p 857.
Paul, Sarah. “Soviet Feminist Speaks on Rights Of Russian Women.” Cambridge: 1980. The Harvard Crimson. Web. www.thecrimson.com
“Golden Glow of Reagan Legacy Lacks Luster for Feminists.” National Organization for Women. National NOW Times. Fall 2004. Web. www.now.org
Pollock, Thomas. “The Feminist totalitarian State.” The Men’s Tribune. 1999. Web. www.menstribune.com
Staels, Hilde. “Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Resistance Through Narrating”. English Studies 76.5 (1995): 455. Academic Search Complete.
Stein, Karen. “Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Scheherazade in Dystopia”. University of Toronto Quarterly 61.2 (1991): 269. Academic Search Complete
Zuhlsdorf, Fr. John. “University of St. Thomas requires freshmen to read Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.” Minneapolis: 2007. Web. www.wdtprs.com



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale illustrates that dictatorship can be established by creating a state of fear once language controls are instituted. As a tradition to dystopian novels, Atwood has drawn much attention to the meaning of words and the significance of names, as well as the prohibition for women to read or write, in order to portray Gilead as a successful totalitarian state. Atwood is trying to make the point that in a dystopian world, language can be the power....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1169 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Offred recounts the story of her life and that of others in Gilead, but she does not do so alone. The symbolic meanings found in the dress code of the women, the names/titles of characters, the absence of the mirror, and the smell and hunger imagery aid her in telling of the repugnant conditions in the Republic of Gilead. The symbols speak with a voice of their own and in decibels louder than Offred can ever dare to use....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays Atwood ]
:: 1 Works Cited
934 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Novel and Film Essay - Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Novel and Film The Handmaid's Tale, a science-fiction novel written by Margaret Atwood, focuses on women's rights and what could happen to them in the future. This novel was later made into a movie in 1990. As with most cases of books made into movies, there are some similarities and differences between the novel and the film. Overall the film tends to stay on the same track as the book with a few minor details changed, and only two major differences. Atwood sets the story not too far into the future, and the women have lost almost all of their rights....   [tags: Compare Contrast Handmaid Atwood Essays] 2083 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Romantic Love in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - Romantic Love in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In her novel The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood addresses the concept of different expression of romantic love through the eyes of Offred, a woman who has lost almost all her freedom to a repressive, dystopic society. Throughout her struggle against oppression and guilt, Offred's view evolves, and it is through this process that Atwood demonstrates the nature of love as it develops under the most austere of circumstances. The first glimses of romantic love one notes in this novel are the slivers of Offred's memeories of Luke, her husband from whom she has been separated....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1392 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Rebellion in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Rebellion in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale "Rebels defy the rules of society, risking everything to retain their humanity. If the world Atwood depicts is chilling, if 'God is losing,' the only hope for optimism is a vision that includes the inevitability of human struggle against the prevailing order." -Joyce Johnson- Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale analyzes human nature by presenting an internal conflict in Offred: acceptance of current social trends (victim mentality) -vs- resistance for the sake of individual welfare and liberties (humanity)....   [tags: Handmaids Tale] 2092 words
(6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale and Family Values Essay - The Handmaid's Tale and Family Values In the olden days, religion and politics went hand in hand. The church either ran the land or had a strangle hold on the people. If the church thought there was one way to do something, one had to do as the church requested or suffer great penalty. To go against the church was to go against God, and that meant death. The king was supposed to be chosen by God to rule the people in the way he commanded. The king was the closest thing to God on earth....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1273 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: The Oppression of Women - The Oppression of Women in Handmaids Tale         Within freedom should come security. Within security should come freedom. But in Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, it seems as though there is no in between. Atwood searches throughout the novel for a medium between the two, but in my eyes fails to give justice to a woman’s body image. Today's society has created a fear of beauty and sexuality in this image. It is as though a beautiful woman can be just that, but if at the same time, if she is intelligent and motivated within acting as a sexual being, she is thought of as exploiting herself and her body....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 627 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - James Fils-Aime The Handmaid’s Tale Fact or Fiction The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel in which Atwood creates a world which seems absurd and near impossible. Women being kept in slavery only to create babies, cult like religious control over the population, and the deportation of an entire race, these things all seem like fiction. However Atwood's novel is closer to fact than fiction; all the events which take place in the story have a base in the real world as well as a historical precedent....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
1401 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about A Society's Self Destruction in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - A Society's Self Destruction in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale Many fictitious novels written today mirror real life; this tactic can provide readers with a sense of formality. Yet in some cases, fictitious novels provide readers with the shocking realization of a society's self destruction. I believe The Handmaid's Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, falls in the second category. Issues raised in this novel such as manipulation, public punishment, ignorance, and pollution are problems we face in the world today....   [tags: Papers] 1358 words
(3.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - The Handmaid's Tale Serena Joy is the most powerful female presence in the hierarchy of Gileadean women; she is the central character in the dystopian novel, signifying the foundation for the Gileadean regime. Atwood uses Serena Joy as a symbol for the present dystopian society, justifying why the society of Gilead arose and how its oppression had infiltrated the lives of unsuspecting people. Atwood individualises the character of Serena Joy, as her high status in the society demands power and the domination over the inferior members of the Commander’s household, such as Offred – a handmaid....   [tags: English Literature Essays] 939 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]