Vision of Feminism in the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Essay

Vision of Feminism in the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Essay

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Feminism in the novel The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood is a prominent theme. This novel represents the morals and horrors of a vision of feminism, which is sometimes taken to the extremes. Women’s rights have been downgraded and as a result of this women are used to bear children and are constantly watched by the eye. The Handmaids are considered powerful figures in the novels’ society while living in a dystopia of cultural feminism, which cause them to be degraded women with a loss of identity.
The powerful figures in The Handmaids Tale would be considered the Commander’s wives or the Aunts. Gilead could be represented as a hierarchy with the Commander wives at the top of the pyramid. Beneath the top of the pyramid would be the Aunts, and then the Handmaids, which the novel is centered around. The Aunts makes the rules that the Handmaids have to abide by strictly. The Aunts are the central power figure and the authority figures at the center. They have the control to change the rules, persecute the Handmaids and use their power of supervision to the extremes. The Aunts do have somewhat of a leniency to do what they want, however they cannot be careless because they need to have good morals and set a good example for the Handmaids. The eye is also watching them and the Handmaids. The world of Gilead could be compared to a democratic government where the Aunts would be the governors and the Commanders wives would be the Prime Ministers. The Aunts are supervisory figures at this center where all these women live. The featured Aunt of this novel is Aunt Lydia, she supervises the women. Aunt Lydia also voices her opinion to the women about how women should be solely concerned with conceiving children and about other be...


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... considered a sisterhood where they look out for each other and support each other. They hope or may even pray that one gets a chance to bear the Commanders child. The feminism is taken to the extremes with coinciding sex, secrecy escaping rights.
Overall, Gilead is not a feminist society since women’s rights were taken away as a result of dehumanization and oppression of women. There is more a vision or hope of feminism that is present. The women try to lives there lives with some happiness and freedom, however it is hard since they are constantly watched by either the Aunts or the eye and have to abide strict rules. There is no form of pleasure allowed and the woman want to bear the Commanders child. The women don’t seem like they to hold a protest, they seem content with their lives. They just have to remember “nolite te bastardes carborundorum. (Atwood, Ch.29)”

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