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Feminism In A Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

analytical Essay
912 words
912 words
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Dystopian novels are often used to array compelling political arguments and messages during periods of reform and influential eras. One notable, prize-winning dystopian novel is Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, which addresses the discrimination and feminist backlash faced by the women of the 1980’s. It is depicted through the story of Offred, a fertile sex slave, called a handmaid, whose sole purpose is to become pregnant and repopulate the disease and pollution stricken society of Gilead. Atwood’s persuasive novel has shown resolute influence throughout the years, displayed through Jennifer Hodson’s analytical thesis, “American Trends and American Fears: An Analysis of the Women's Movement and the Religious Right as Envisioned in Margaret …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes margaret atwood's a handmaid’s tale, which addresses the discrimination and feminist backlash faced by the women of the 1980s.
  • Analyzes how atwood wanted to communicate her concerns for modern society through a speculative fiction, painting an exaggerated truth of real situations occurring throughout civilization
  • Analyzes how atwood displays reagan's political view of anti-abortion through the laws of gilead prohibiting and punishing the act of abortion.
  • Analyzes how hodson's claim that a handmaid’s tale is a speculative fiction is true. atwood warns society of her concerns of male ignorance degrading women to lesser roles in society.

(Hodson 1). As a result of Reagan’s political views, he manufactured women and their bodies into mere political instruments through anti-abortion and reproductive rights campaigns thus repudiating women the choice of managing their bodies and sexuality. Atwood voices her boundless concern of these anti-feminist politics conducted by men through the handmaids in her novel by examining several debates embodied in the feminist movement (Hodson 1). In the novel, the handmaids have been stripped of many of their rights and sexuality leading to the constant dehumanization of women. This dehumanization is portrayed when Offred mentions that she has lost her rights of socializing and having a family: “There's nobody here I can love… They might as well be nowhere, as I am for them. I too am a missing person." (Atwood 103). The ruling Gileadean men have deprived the handmaids of their rights by not only tearing them from their prior lives and turning them into slaves of reproduction, but have even taken away their names, exhibiting more of the subhuman treatment of women that Atwood was trying to portray. This is proven when Offred says “All the people I could

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