Essay on A Nation of Indoctrination: "The Handmaid's Tale"

Essay on A Nation of Indoctrination: "The Handmaid's Tale"

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The society established by the Republic of Gilead in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is founded on and sustained by false doctrine. They intentionally twist and skew the Bible in order to justify their actions and brainwash the women who are involuntarily participating in their indoctrinated society. The Gilead does not treat the Bible as the divine word of God. Instead, they exploit its authority and use it as a tool for their own benefit. The very framework of the Gilead’s social hierarchy is in sharp contradiction to everything the Bible teaches, but because they are so corrupt and only use the Bible for their own advantage, they seem not to care. Instead of abiding by the teachings in the Bible and letting them shape how things are done, they hand-select and contort certain parts of it to match the framework of their own aspirations and beliefs, which are by no means Christian. Every piece of scripture that the Republic customizes is specifically suited to help them achieve their ultimate goal: indoctrinating an entire society for the purposes of personal power and authority. The end product is the unethical, dysfunctional society that is depicted in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The Republic of Gilead is by no means a true religious group, but they do use religion and skewed religious text as a reference for the foundation, justification, manipulation, and enforcement of their new society.
The foundation of the Gilead’s newly implemented society is packed with biblical phrasing and connotations, but it lacks authenticity. From the names of the different social ranks to the names of the buildings and stores to the name Gilead itself, every object within the society possesses some sort of biblical significance. Peter G. Tillman says ...


... middle of paper ...


...sesses no characteristics of true Christianity and ransacks the very same scripture that they claim to believe in and follow.



Works Cited

Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale": A Contextual Dystopia, David Ketterer, Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jul., 1989), pp. 209-217
Identity, Complicity, and Resistance in The Handmaid's Tale, PETER G. STILLMAN and S. ANNE JOHNSON, Utopian Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2 (1994), pp. 70-86
Neuman, Shirley. "'Just A Backlash': Margaret Atwood, Feminism, And "The Handmaid's Tale.." University Of Toronto Quarterly 75.3 (2006): 857-868. Academic Search Elite. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Kingston, Paul. "The Joyless Republic Of Gilead: Reflections Of A Political Scientist On The Operatic Production Of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale.." University Of Toronto Quarterly 75.3 (2006): 833-834. Academic Search Elite. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

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