The Theme Of Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale?

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In the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood writes about an alternate universe about America that illustrates our worst fears. Some of the fears depicted in the book can be seen in the world today, such as the distaste for abortion and the mentality that men are supposed to have more power than women. These issues are not only known as social issues but also feminist issues. Feminism is the belief that women and men should be treated equally socially, politically, and economically. This book shows how these issues could get worse in our society. The author uses Offred, the protagonist in the story, to show how the world could change for the worst. Offred, a handmaid in The Handmaid 's Tale, showed how men and society had control over…show more content…
Offred and a friend of hers were walking outside one day, saw a group of tourists and thought about how “[she] used to dress like [the tourists]” (Atwood 28). The tourists were wearing clothing and makeup such as skirts above their knees and red lipstick. Offred and her friend were fascinated and envious of these women. They couldn’t imagine themselves wearing clothes like the tourist were wearing. Even though they couldn’t imagine themselves wearing those type of clothes and makeup, they used to wear it in their past. Offred remembered herself going to the laundromat and putting “[her] own clothes, [her] own soap, [and her] own money” into the machines and “having such control” over what she used to do (Atwood 24). She doesn’t have that control over her life anymore. Some women, such as Aunt Lydia, feels that she should be grateful that she doesn’t have to do those things anymore. They feel that Offred is complaining about something that is actually a good thing. Society brainwashes these women into thinking that not having that kind of freedom is a good thing. Society also makes women think that they are just good for having children and sex. Therefore, women lose self-esteem because of the pressure that they are faced with on a daily basis. For example, in the story, Offred has low self-esteem. She “[avoids] looking at her body, not so much because it 's shameful or immodest but because [she doesn’t]…show more content…
When Offred had met with one of the wives, Serena Joy, Serena told Offred not to “call her ma 'am” because “she was not a Martha” (Atwood 15). It was an insult to refer to a woman as a Martha. A Martha was a woman who could not have children and was a servant in the house of the commander. If you could not have children in this time, it was a very bad thing. You were considered worthless. The Marthas were told that all they were good for is cleaning. Women weren 't considered well for anything besides cleaning if you couldn 't have a baby or didn’t have a husband. Serena Joy was very territorial over her husband. Serena made sure that Offred knew that her husband “[was] just that. [Her] husband. [She wanted] that to be perfectly clear. Till death [does them] part. It 's final” (Atwood 16). Serena Joy was very territorial over her husband because she felt like she needed him. She felt like she wouldn 't be anything without him. Women in this time also felt like they wouldn 't be anything if they couldn 't have a child. Offred and the others saw a woman that was “vastly pregnant; her belly, under her loose garment, swelled triumphantly. There was a shifting in the room, a murmur, an escape of breath; despite [themselves they turn their] heads, blatantly, to see better; [their] fingers [itched] to touch her” (Atwood 26). The women were envious of the
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