The Twisted Beliefs of Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

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In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, one will find a town, Gilead, whose people have brainwashed themselves and created their own twisted truths about life. The people of this town are irrational; they tend to believe the things that they hear. The people of Gilead then take it and turn it into semi-truths and lies. Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get their pants on.” Their truths do nothing but harm others in the community. They tear people down, break confidence, and can lead to a tragic ending. For some strange reason, they stick to what they believe to be true rather than what the real truths, or facts, are. The leaders of Gilead keep many secrets from their people. The leaders fear the chaos that could come from the town knowing the real facts that the leaders have kept hidden. The women in this book are forced to believe that “there is no such thing as a sterile man anymore” and it is the law that “there are only women who are fruitful and women who are barren” (Atwood 61). The town of Gilead refers back “to the Old Testament in a reaction against abortion, sterilization, and what they consider to be dangerous kinds of freedom of the modern welfare state” (Staels 455). This is a perfect example of one of Gilead’s twisted ways of thinking. The people of the Republic of Gilead make only women feel responsible for their ability to reproduce or not reproduce when in fact men are just as important when trying to conceive a baby. The Aunts, who train the handmaids, along with everyone else in Gilead, make the women feel self-conscious about themselves. If they cannot produce babies, they are sent away to be killed. The women of Gilead go thr... ... middle of paper ... ...sted versions of the truth. The Republic of Gilead has set itself up for failure. They have created their own demise. Works Cited Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986. Cooper, Pamela. "Sexual Surveillance and Medical Authority in Two Versions of the Handmaid's Tale." Popular Culture (n.d.): 49-66. How We Learn a Skill: THe Journey from Novice to Master. 20 March 2013. 13 November 2013 . Infertility and Men. 2005. 13 November 2013 . Staels, Hilde. "Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Resistance Through Narrating." English Studies (1995): 455-467. Winston Churchill Quotes. 2001. 13 November 2013 .

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