The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

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“The Handmaid’s Tale”, a speculative fiction novel written by Margaret Atwood that describes an authoritarianism society created after the United States government was overthrown and became the Republic of Gilead. The objective of this takeover was to improve the environment, economy, and reverse the falling numbers in healthy births.
All women’s rights were removed. They could not read, write, speak freely, or be in love. Their lives were controlled completely by Gilead. We are introduced to Offred, not her real name whose previous life with a husband, child, job, and money have all been taken away. The story begins when she is at the Red Center which is in a school gymnasium, it was here that she and the other woman, known as handmaids were re-educated to be nothing more than sexual servants whose only purpose was to have children. Offed is assigned to the commander and his wife with the sole mission of producing a child for the wife, Serena Joy, to raise as her own. To accomplish this task, Offred must once a month endure a ceremony that ends with her having sex with the commander while in the presence of Serena Joy. This arrangement was designed by Gilead is to prevent any emotional connection between the handmaids and the commander. “What is going on in this room, under Serena Joy’s …., is not exciting. It has nothing to do with passion or love or romance…” (110)
The handmaid’s lives were filled with repetitive routines. They were only permitted to leave the home of the commander to go shopping and always in the company of another handmaid. The handmaids were not permitted to talk feelingly during these shopping trips nor were they allowed to speak to the shop owners. This is evidenced by tokens that display pict...


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...e enlightens us on her thoughts and feelings toward this new life. For example when she remembers Luke and how it felt to be with him comparing them to times she is with Nick or the Commander lets us feel what she was feeling. This jumping back in forth in time allowed the reader to gain some insight of her before, during and after the establishment of the Republic of Gilead.
Theme
I believe the theme of the novel that Atwood was portraying in the novel was that we should fear a time when we allow a routine, controlled life style to become the norm. We may ultimately accept this new norm as long as we have some slight amount of power or freedom in our lives. “Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.” (306) The women, men, and the Republic of Gilead as a whole, settled into exactly the type of world no one would desire.

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