The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood Essays

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood Essays

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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”-Alice Walker. What this quote really means is that people are hopeless and they don’t realize on what they could do. They only focus on what’s going to happen next and about their safety, but they don’t notice that they are giving up their power to the government, leaving them powerless. Margaret Atwood examines power and peoples attempts to control each other. People in Gilead are viewed based on their social classes. This includes the Handmaids, Wives, Commanders, Aunts, Angles, Eyes, Martha’s, and the Econowives. It’s either they have power in their hands, or they don’t have power at all.
In The Handmaids Tale, Gilead the dystopian state is the reason for all of misery and misuse of power. In the book, the narrator Offred explains how Gilead came to be. Gilead was created because of low birth rates, the mass killing of the congress and the president, and pollution from radioactivity and toxic waste. From there, social classes were created to determine each role of people in the society. The Handmaids are used to make babies of the Commanders, while the Wives are underneath the Handmaid, and the action of sexual intercourse takes place. The Commanders are the men that are high in ranking of Gilead, and their Wives are considered to be sterile, and this is where the use of Handmaids come in. The narrator Offred is a Handmaid and she explains how she feels “erased” and how she is powerless and becomes suicidal. During pre-Gilead, the rights of women were abolished, and given to the closest family male member. This is where Offred feels powerless because her husband Luke wanted to make love that night the law was passed for women, but she refu...


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... and Offred are having sex and she is underneath Offred, she has a rush of jealousy and sadness in herself. The reason why she reacted was because she can’t reproduce, can’t have sex with her own husband, and goes through the same act a couple of times a month. She starts yelling at Offred to leave after the Commander finishes his job with Offred, and it’s seen that Serena Joy is furious. This shows that she is powerful when it comes to the act of having her husband have a relationship with another woman.
People in The Handmaids Tale are helpless in their society, making them give up their power and knowledge. Gilead created a state where only specific people get to have power, which creates a corruption of power. Power creates misery and paranoia for people in Gilead. In Gilead, people had their freedom taken from them, later creating a totalitarian state.



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