Literary Analysis: The Handmaid's Tale

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Every human being needs certain rights to survive. There are the fundamental ones; food, water, air, shelter, but there are also other ones that are equally important to survive: love, communication, compassion, freedom. In many dystopian societies one of these fundamental needs are missing because the society is afraid that they will break the control that they have over the people. In the novel The Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood the society is no different. Narrated by a woman named Offred who once was happy who had a family and a job, she shows the reader that to keep people quiet the society takes away people 's freedom, their ability to choose, their ability to be with and talk to who they want, even their ability to read and write,…show more content…
Impacted by her love to read and write she used situations that she experienced or read about in newspapers to create every piece of her novel. An example in her historical context was the customs that she witnessed on a trip to Afghanistan it states “she observed behaviors that concerned her -- a man who only spoke to her partner and not to her, and the existence of the full-body coverings for women, known in Afghanistan as chadors.” This quote shows two specific ideals that you also see in the Handmaid 's tale, the lack of female equality and the clothing that women wore. Atwood was obviously greatly affected by both of these things because they are major parts of the society and the storyline. Another quote from the historical context of Margaret Atwood describes an event that happened in the US during the time Atwood was a politically aware individual it states “a group known as the “Moral Majority” -- or a group of Christian fundamentalists led by the preacher Jerry Falwell. The Moral Majority promoted an agenda that was focused on religiously inspired views, such as outlawing abortion, opposing recognition of homosexuality and the Equal Rights Amendment (a law that would guarantee equal rights for women), enforcing a “traditional” view of family life (with the man as the head of the household), and censoring any media that did not fit the views they had.” Again this quote shows a few of the major ideals of the society in The Handmaid 's Tale. The agenda of religiously inspired views and the enforcement of a traditional family. Atwood put these into her book to show how if these people had gotten control over the government what our future could possibly look
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