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Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale

:: 2 Sources Cited
Length: 1574 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)
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Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale

 
    Feminism as we know it began in the mid 1960's as the Women's Liberation Movement. Among its chief tenants is the idea of women's empowerment, the idea that women are capable of doing and should be allowed to do anything men can do. Feminists believe that neither sex is naturally superior. They stand behind the idea that women are inherently just as strong and intelligent as the so-called stronger sex. Many writers have taken up the cause of feminism in their work. One of the most well known writers to deal with feminist themes is Margaret Atwood. Her work is clearly influenced by the movement and many literary critics, as well as Atwood herself, have identified her as a feminist writer. However, one of Atwood's most successful books, The Handmaid's Tale, stands in stark contrast to the ideas of feminism. In fact, the female characters in the novel are portrayed in such a way that they directly conflict with the idea of women's empowerment.

 

On the surface, The Handmaid's Tale appears to be feminist in nature. The poin...


... middle of paper ...


...as, but it's always with full disclosure of their human frailty. Atwood never bashes feminism. Instead, she shows both sides of it. Like everything else in the novel, feminism is shown to have good and bad elements. Even in Atwood's brave new world, there is no black and white.

 

Sources

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1985.

Moore, Pamela, Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale. Boston, MS: Houghton Mifflin, 1986.

Internet

www.wsu.edu:8000/~brains/science_fiction/handmaid.html

 

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