The Role Of Women In The Handmaid's Tale?

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The Handmaid’s Tale is a masterpiece of dystopian literature written by margaret atwood focusing on the life of a handmaid called Offred, it was published in nineteen eighty-six. The Book is set in a fictionalized future society called gilead where fertile women are essentially used as resources, they are called the handmaids. The question I chose was which social groups are marginalized, excluded, or silenced within the text. I choose the focus on women in this written task two as they are the central focus to the book, and are clearly an oppressed group in the novel. There are different forms of oppression towards women within the books, most obvious, but some much more subtle, but it all ties down to a central theme, the women’s oppression…show more content…
It was published in nineteen eighty-six the same year as Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, a landmark case for workplace sexual harassment, and women’s rights in general. Just two years earlier EMILY's List was formed in an effort to elect pro-choice Democrats. To say the least political tensions were (as always) Extremely high. At the forefront of the issues involving women’s rights were, much like today, abortion, sexual harassment and slut shaming. These issues all influenced atwood’s direction with the handmaid’s tale, and are the reason women are portrayed as an oppressed group inside of the…show more content…
The marthas, named after the biblical martha are also servants to the commanders. Instead of their sole purpose in life being to reproduce, they are forced to clean, cook, and do other menial jobs. They are essentially a slave version of a housewife, and forced to wear green outfits at all times. They are the women who are too old, or have had their tubes tied before the revolution. Their servitude to cooking and cleaning is symbolic of the stereotypical view of a housewife, coupled with the handmaid’s role of solely reproductive duties make a full character of what a woman is “good for.” The marthas are yet another way women are horrifically oppressed, and they have many similarities to people’s opinions on traditional families and gender roles of the time. Obviously this is toned up heavily in the book, but the comparison is there and it is shown
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