The Handmaid's Tale Analysis

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Imperial Power Once more fear is instilled in a humans mind they will do anything to avoid it as fear is the greatest motivator in life that drives us. In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale the narrator uses her leveraging reputation to remind people of her history and past. Offred, the narrator, is constantly being degraded by the author, and ultimately has her ethos as a narrator reduced. The presence and manipulation of power controls the regime of woman’s sexuality and is an essential factor as to how that identity and fate of a woman is stripped and how Offred’s ethos is limited and uncertain. Factors and misleading natures that affect Offred’s narration are demonstrated through the acts of fear and systemic coercion and also through the censorship in the Gilead society. Throughout the novel Offred’s ethos is often being affected by fear and systemic coercion imposed on the Gilead society. Offred’s inabilities to have a choice of the sexual interactions she has with the commander are displayed when she states: “I do not say making love because that is not what he’s doing, copulating too would be inaccurate , because it would imply two people and only one is involved , nor does rape cover it : nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for. There wasn’t a lot of choice but there was some, and this is what I chose.” (Atwood 116). This quote demonstrates how Offred has lost the hope of ever having a choice and is either being used as a sex object for pleasure, or as a sexless nurturer. Since the commander holds a powerful status, he has the capability to control the regime of Offred’s sexuality. The commander is stripping Offred’s identity and is not only diminishing her role as a narrator but also as a victim. This ul... ... middle of paper ... ...w Offred’s censorship experience may differ from other handmaids and woman in Gilead. This way her ethos does not contemplate on the point of views of the other woman and reduces her reputation and credibility as a narrator. Overall, in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale, Offred is constantly being degraded conclusively reducing her ethos as a narrator. Presence of power controls the sexual regimes in Gilead and ultimately limits Offred’s ethos to a certain extent. Misleading natures that affect Offred’s narration are through the acts of systemic coercion and also through censorship. Atwood does not leave the reader with much hope that things will ever change in Gilead, as she portrays a female dystopia with absurd examples of sexual persuasion. Women are displayed as sexual victims in Gilead and are reduced to their sexual capabilities, existing only to serve men.

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