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After reading the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, I think the whole book shows a feminist dystopia, which is different from the radical feminists. Since the balance of power between men and women is the biggest theme in this novel, Atwood powerfully criticizes the patriarchal society through depicting the suffering of Handmaids. In this society, women in the lower class are deprived of their social status, totally becoming the baby-making tools for the upper class male. Also, they are deprived of all their possessions and their human rights, even their emotions as human beings. In Atwood’s novel, the author shows us a great concern of the social prejudice against women. Because of the balance of power between men and women in this society, women are given their own function: Handmaids are baby-making tools; Wives are used for ceremonial purposes only, and Jezebels are prostitutes and entertainers, available only to the upper class men and their guests. Handmaids only have one function: bearing children for the Wives, which is the only reason for their survival. In the eyes of Gilead’s ruling class, Handmaids are not humans. However, they are also significant in society because they can breed children. According to the book, Gilead adopted a passage in the Bible to justify the behavior of using Handmaids to bear children for Wives: It's the usual story, the usual stories. God to Adam, God to Noah. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Then comes the moldy old Rachel and Leah stuff we had drummed into us at the Center. Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? Behold my maid Bilhah. She shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have childre... ... middle of paper ... .... Since Wives do not have the ability to have a baby, they ask Handmaids to sleep with their husbands once a month to bear a baby. Their husbands cannot see Handmaids except for every month’s Ceremony. Because the husband cannot kiss and touch Handmaids when they have sex, the husbands go to night clubs to dally with Jezebels. In this society, women each have a function and become the victims of patriarchal ruling. Once we lapse in dealing with the gender relationship, what will the situation be for the entire human society? In The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood puts this worry into her feminist dystopia, a real nightmare. Although the sufferings everyone undertakes in the novel will not occur in the real world, the novel conceives a unique, horrible social panorama, exaggerating and magnifying the gender tension in the real world, containing the criticism of reality.

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