One of the ways of manipulating the handmaids is portrayed by brainwashing and controlling them under the governments’ power. The women within the society are brainwashed to believe the government’s point of view. This is evident in chapter 7: “I stop walking. Ofglen stops beside me and I know that she too cannot take her eyes off these women. We are fascinated, but also repelled. They seem undressed. It has taken so little time to change our minds, about things like this. Then I think: I used to dress like that. That was freedom. Westernized, they used to call it.” (Atwood 36) This is the scene when a group of Japanese tourists walk towards Offred and her friend, Ofglen, and both women find that they disapprove of the Japanese women’s attire of the short skirt. Both women disapprove, despite the fact that they used to wear the same clothing until skirts and other clothing are banned by the take over of the ruling government of Gilead. By westernized, Atwood means that wearing a skirt, as it mentions on page 35, is just as normal as it is for the Japanese women in their ...
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...men are not allowed to read newspapers, but they’re allowed to watch the news on TV, which is filtered information supplied by the government. Women are deprived of information and this leads to the women to take any news they’re given as a truth. The government blocked the Canadian channels so the handmaids don’t come across any information which can lead them to think of escaping from Gilead. Only the news channels were unblocked for the handmaids which fills the information of on going war outside the world of Gilead, which stops them from escaping.
In conclusion, in The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood displays the manipulation of women and how their freedom is taken away by the upper class government, within the state of Gilead. Intellectual abuse to the handmaids is done by brainwashing, repeating their chant, and keeping them under control with the use of their power.
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