The Handmaid's Tale Response Piece

The novel the Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, chillingly explores the consequences of a reversal of women’s rights. It made me very aware and somewhat paranoid about what could happen if a rogue government took control and took all women's rights away. The novel is set in a speculative future, exploring gender inequalities in an absolute patriarchy in which women are breeders, housekeepers, mistresses, or housewives. It is written in such a way that it controls the reader’s response to themes within the text, but the reader’s context may also influence the way the text is read. The Handmaids Tale tells the story of Offred living in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the United States. She belongs to the class of Handmaids, fertile women forced to bear children for elite, barren couples. This is because of reproduction rates being dangerously low due to many women being infertile after repeated exposure to pesticides, nuclear waste, or leakages from chemical weapons. No women in the Republic are permitted to be openly sexual; sex is for reproduction only. The government declares this a feminist improvement on the sexual politics of today when women are seen as sex objects. The harsh message and unhappy tone in the Handmaid’s Tale makes it difficult to comprehend sometimes. It is a novel of a world we do not want, but could possibly see, and a reminder that we must embrace our freedoms and fight back when anyone, especially the Government tries to take them away. Atwood has intentionally placed the events of the novel in a historical context, as she urges us to think and see that such a fate is not far off, but imaginable, especially in societies like Piexoto’s that mask their sexi... ... middle of paper ... ... of her? Did she devote herself to the resistance? The text fails to answer these questions and left me lingering at the end. Although this did not matter as this novel made me aware that it is highly essential for people to read dystopian novels and studying history so one may learn about past or futuristic human behaviour that is relevant to the intellectual growth and development of an individual. By learning about the causes and effect of an event in history or in the future, people can learn ways to prevent such things from happening and learn better ways to deal with conflict among other nations and individuals. Without this knowledge being passed on there is a higher chance of people. Although human behavior is unpredictable at times, a better understanding through the study of history or future events, can provide valuable insight for our future generations.
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