Margaret Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

Margaret Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

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The Theme of Apathy in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”
In life, people don’t always stand up for what they believe in in order to avoid exclusion – this is called apathy. In specific situations, people will blindly follow a primitive ideology without any regard for morality. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is an excellent example of how apathy can affect an entire population. This novel is by and large a feminist novel that addresses the ignorance in imperialistic and religious ideologies, but also addresses the issue of human apathy. In this novel, Atwood offers a disturbing look into what could be. The alterior motive of the society is to purify and improve the country as a whole. However, it is not only nationalism and imperialism that contribute to the order of Gilead. The largest contributor is the apathy of human nature. Many of the citizens are indifferent to their lives in Gilead and are unconditionally accepting of their roles. If people had not been as fearful of defiance, this republic would not exist at all. In this world, morals are completely twisted, yet no one seems to be bothered by this. Everyone plays the role they are given, without question. Through this novel, Atwood attempts to signify that the nature of humanity is cowardice, where everyone possesses a deep desire to belong and fit into a crowd. Atwood shows this apathy through the indifference of Offred’s character, the oppressive character of Serena Joy and the downfall of important feminist characters.
Apathy is very prominent in Offred’s character, as she is indifferent to her fate and lacks defiance. The story is told through her eyes, a Handmaid, living day to day under the command of Gilead. She is the main character in the story; howev...


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...ntation of the power of control of Gilead’s government and how it can affect even the strongest of people.
Overall, the characters in this novel are extremely apathetic, which consequently allows the society to function. Serena Joy’s attitude is contributory to the warped misogynistic ideologies of the society. Offred’s character is extremely apathetic and indifferent and once given the slight satisfaction of Nick’s company, she is accepting of her role in society. Also, the apathy of strong feminist characters like Moira and Offred’s mother signifies hopelessness. Margaret Atwood gives her readers an eye into the future and displays the corollary of human ignorance. She shows the power of human apathy and what it is capable of. When everyone is complicit, horrible things can happen. Through this novel, Atwood implies that a society like this is not far out of reach.

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