A Dystopian Society In Atwood's A Handmaidens Tale

1137 Words 5 Pages
A Handmaidens Tale takes place the near future from when it was written in the early 1980’s and portrays a dystopian society which has evolved from a movement to return to more traditional roles for women and men based on the patriarchal structure of the Bible. Through a violent coup, blamed on Islamic extremist, the President, and Congress are killed, the Constitution suspended, the central government is essentially abolished and the military takes control, slowly censoring the news sources, and eventually transforming into a theocracy. Is there any realistic possibility of events like the text happing in America today given the current social, economic and political realities? Atwood describes The Handmaidens Tale as speculative fiction, …show more content…
Would you say, "I 'm a socialist and we 're all going to be equal"? No, you would not, because it wouldn 't work. Would you say, "I 'm a liberal and we are going to have a society of multiple tolerations"? You probably wouldn 't say that if you wanted mass support. You would be much more likely to say, "I have the word from God and this is the way we should run things."” (Random House for High School Teachers) In this quote, Atwood speaks to the probable path to the overthrow of the democratically elected government in the United States. Even though there is a separation of church and State, we are historical and cultural a Christian country. The faith and beliefs of Christendom can be more binding than that of any political party. We have seen more vulnerable countries with weaker democratic institutions recently fall to religious fundamental movements, The Islamic rebellion in Iran, the disabling affect the ISIS is having in the Middle-East. Is example of religious bases political movement in the 20th century? The formation of the Islamic State of Afghanistan is somewhat different. The democratic government was overthrown by Communist and the citizens revolted, the Soviet –Afghan war ensued and radical Islam filled the power vacuum created. ( "A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan." PBS) At wood gives us a glimpse of what a radical Christian revolution may look like with the formation of Gilead, as …show more content…
As Offred states “Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.” (56). If things change slowly over time we may not realize it until it is too late. As with our last election, we voted for a candidate who is against convention and could be a dangers change in our political establishment. We have seen violent revolutions with religious motivation in an effort to claim a moral right to rule. There is a continued, if not renewed move toward traditional values. I don’t think these are necessarily indicators of an imminent collapse of our government, but they are issues that a responsible citizen should be aware of and monitor. I believe that Atwood’s The Handmaidens Tale is a cautionary tale prompting us to remain vigilant with our

Related Documents