The Handmaids Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

The Handmaids Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

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It seems that more often when a group of people or a nation encounters calamity, some great “act of God,” or even just change, collectively, we begin to seek answers from a higher power. We tend to either blame or seek solace in this higher power or we seek what it is we can change to please this higher power. Without realizing we begin to adjust laws, limit freedoms, and become despotic fascist, all in the name of God. This fear of conforming and reverting back to the “dark ages,” constraining women to “know their role or place” is what seems to have driven Margaret Atwood to write her satirical novel “The Handmaids Tale.”
“The Handmaids Tale,” written by Margaret Atwood is a futuristic novel that takes place in the northern part of the USA sometime in the beginning of the twenty-first century, and is now known as the oppressive and totalitarian Republic of Gilead. The regime demands high moral retribution and a virtuous lifestyle. One of the many themes of the novel is this idea of “God is happy when nations are diehard committed conservatives.” Things will somehow become “normal” if we become conventional. Atwood depicts what life would be like for women in a fascist, patriarchal domineering world. At the heart of her story one of her many crucial points is the power structure within her dystopian world of not only between men and women, but rather women against women; women who are willing to put other women down to get ahead or even at a deeper level, women who are willing to control other women for fear of change and jealousy.
The Republic of Gilead has based their fundamentalist reform on the infertility of women. The opening epigraph, Genesis 30:1-3 denotes how women within the biblical era were used as surrogates as Bi...


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...a reacts to the reality of being a Wife in Gilead: "She doesn 't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn 't seem to agree with her. How furious she must be, now that she 's been taken at her word" (46). Atwood’s main character Offred, is at first, depicted as the ideal conformist, unlike her friend Moira as well as her mother who asserted herself in the face of the puritanical military regime, Offred has acclimated well to the drastic changes around her and is overall trying to adhere to all the rules, she has learned her “place” in the Republic of Gilead, Aunt Lydia, the “commander” of the handmaids, has made sure of this and would be proud, “Women united for a common end! Helping one another in their daily chores as they walk the path of life together, each performing her appointed task” was her motto (Atwood 162).

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The Handmaids Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

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