A woman’s power and privileges depend on which societal class she is in. In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale each group of women are each represented in a different way. The three classes of women from the novel are the Handmaids, the Marthas and the Wives. The ways in which the women are portrayed reflect their societal power and their privileges that they bestow.
A woman’s color of clothing that she wears reflects her social class status and what she is capable of. If a woman is able to have sex freely, or at all, is also dependent on her class. A women’s role in the dystopian society is also based on her class. Both of these factors reflect her power and privileges.
The role of a woman in this society is entirely dependent upon the color of cloths that she wears. The women will get this color for a specific reason. If a woman is able to reproduce she will become a Handmaid. The Handmaids exist because the Wives are physically unable to have a child of their own. The Handmaid’s position is to reproduce for the Commander and his wife, so that they can have a family together. A woman will become a Martha if she is unable to reproduce. The Martha’s job is to look after the families. She has to care for the family, protect them, and to comfort them at all times. The Wives job is to essentially have her family. The wife is to make sure the Handmaid has her child and she is to be calm and peaceful. A woman would become one of the Wives if she was already married to her husband before the laws in their society changed.
The color of clothing that the women wear is an important element because it helps to show the women’s power and privileges. The color of clothing a woman wears reflects how much freedom she will have. Th...
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...en the handmaids are going to the market “You don’t see the Commanders’ Wives on the sidewalks. Only in cars” (27) which shows how much more power the wives have.
The amount of power and privileges that the women have is completely dependent upon where she falls in the groups of women. The women are completely marginalized. This could be because the women each have a different potential towards each job that needs to be done, but this is just the reason that appears on the outside. To have complete control the government separates the women, but it is not just the women that are separated, everyone is. They are separated so that no one in the society will unite and riot for the laws in society to change. Each role is given more power and privileges than another. This way, the wives won’t join with the Marthas. The wives do not want to jeopardize what they have.
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