Feminist Theory Within The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

1845 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 8 Pages
Feminist Theory within The Handmaid’s Tale
Feminist criticism is a literary approach that seeks to distinguish the female human experience from the male human experience. Feminist critics draw attention to the ways in which patriarchal social structures purloined women while male authors have capitalized women in their portrayal of them. Feminism and feminist criticism did not gain recognition until the late 1960’s and 1970’s(maybe add citation here of where you found this info). Instead is was a reestablishment of old traditions of action and thought already consisting its classic books which distinguished the problem of women’s inequality in society. In the 1970’s, The Second Wave of Feminism occurred known as Gynocriticism, which was pioneered by Elaine Showalter (add citation). Gynocriticism “exposes the mechanisms of patriarchy and the cultural ‘mind-set’ in men and women which perpetuated sexual inequality” (Barry 117), and involves three major aspects. The three aspects are the feminine phase, feminist phase, and a female phase. Margaret Atwood’s writing is highly feminist and this is shown especially in her novel written in 1986, The Handmaid’s Tale. It is a direct example of a Feminist novel within the ‘Female’ Phase because her writing was one of self-discovery and focuses centrally on female experience. With numerous feminist approaches in literature, there exist some area of commonality that seem to appear frequently in The Handmaid’s Tale which consist of…

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