Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

1011 Words 5 Pages
Register to read the introduction… The loss of identity is prevalent amongst the Handmaids when they have to endure the struggle of control with wearing the same red uniformed dress, not showing their faces. Once the women convert to the now freedom less and strict life of being a Handmaid, their name is changed to only one name beginning with “of” from their given birth name. Offred and Ofglen have these names which are used as slave name for their function. Offred’s name is means “of Fred” which meaning that she belongs to her Commander whose name is Fred. This society on the way women are treated and the way they choose to dress is like a flashback to a past era of time, the 1800s. The Handmaids not only choose but also have a desire to become impregnated by the Commander even though they have wives. They want to be the one who has the ability or even chance to carry a child of the Commanders. They make procreation their life and their duty to conceive. "Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? Behold my maid Bilhah. She shall bear fruit upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. (Atwood, 88)" The only task they are allowed to participate in is procreation and they are not allowed to have any intimacy from that experience. This intimacy involves impersonal and wordless sexual intercourse while another woman, Serena Joy holds the hands of the Handmaid. These handmaids are indoctrinating into the ideology of Gilead. The Handmaids are taken advantage of and are constantly mistreated. The Handmaids are used as for example, like an instrument; they are used beings. They are treated as objects and nothing else, there is not any emotion shown between …show more content…
Gilead is a futuristic representation of the United States of America and has the characteristics of a totalitarian and theocratic state. The government has control and authority over Gilead. They have banned forms of pleasure and luxury. They have dehumanized and created an oppressive society. To keep this society in tack the government created The Eye, where they watch the citizens for any feminism outbreaks or criminal activity. Gilead suffers of dangerously low reproduction rates and because of this, the Handmaids are assigned the duty to bear children from the couples who cannot conceive, which are the Commander and his wife. The main character in this novel, Offred, tells the fictional events that the Handmaids live or endure. Handmaids are considered very valuable for having viable ovaries. They are considered sacred. This culture of feminism is surprising to some readers who choose to read this novel; it can also be considered a retelling of past events that have occurred across the world. In the Middle East, the Muslims as a part of their culture and religion choose to cover themselves from head to toe and including the face being coverd just as the Handmaids are in The Handmaids Tale. This society adheres to unusual, shocking, and abnormal behavior from all the characters in this novels society compared to today’s modern society. The Handmaids may not be at most comfortable with this idea of sex or supervision; however, they do not really have a choice or even the chance of freedom against it. “Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary. (Atwood, 33)" The Handmaids are subjected to this new society and the supervision that they now have been accustomed

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