Freedom to vs. Freedom from Essay example

1157 Words Nov 6th, 2008 5 Pages
Kinkhabwala 1

Anjali Kinkhabwala
October 6, 2008
WMST 275
Literature Essay #1
In the Days of Anarchy To live in a country such as the United States of America is considered a privilege. The liberties that American citizens are entitled to, as declared in the Constitution, makes the United States an attractive and envied democracy. It would be improbable to imagine these liberties being stripped from American society. However, Margaret Atwood depicts the United States as a dystopian society in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale. The first society is modern America, with its autonomy and liberal customs. The second, Gilead, a far cry from modern America, is a totalitarian Christian theocracy which absorbs America in the late 1980s in
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Though she would have been hanged in Gilead for her adulterous acts with Luke, Offred was able to be absorbed by passion and love in the former United States. According to Aunt Lydia, free love and lust however, are some of the reasons anarchy occurred. "There's more than one kind of freedom," she tells the handmaids: "Freedom to and freedom from.” “In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underestimate it" (Atwood, 24). Therefore, Gilead crucified men and women exploring sexuality and lust to give “freedom from” pain and consequence. However, Gilead was mandating to revoke freedoms such as human feeling, experience, and rights leaving men and women with their only liberty in the theocratic society: “freedom from” the dangers of the surrounding world. Aunt Lydia and the Angels of the Gileadian society forced the justification of human rights violations by comparing the controlled, safe world of the Republic of Gilead to the outside world filled with war, anarchy, and problems. Offred did think she had problems in her days before Gilead. “In the afternoon, when Luke was still in flight from his wife,” before Offred was solidified, she worried what would happen if they were caught in their adulterous acts, or if they were ever going to be happy. It was only after her transfer into a totalitarian society that she realized she was truly happy then, and that her problems in the first society signified

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