John Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay example

1278 Words Mar 12th, 2016 null Page
The Handmaid 's Tale tells the story of Offred, a surrogate mother (Handmaid) that is trapped in the oppressive theocracy of Gilead. Atwood comments on a myriad of social issues through Offred’s accounts for the sole purpose of reflection; Atwood wants her readers to reflect on their attitudes towards the recurring social issues from the novel that occur in our modern society. This novel was released in 1986, a time when when America was entering a conservative era after experiencing the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s which expanded the freedoms of women. Abortion was one of this era’s key issues, and Atwood uses Gilead’s obsession with procreation as a medium to continue the conversation. We are first presented with anti-abortion sentiments in chapter 6 when Offred states, “No woman in her right mind, these days, would seek to prevent a birth, should she be so lucky as to conceive.” (21). Opponents of abortion believe that a child is a gift and, like Offred, believe that one should be considered “lucky” if they have the opportunity to give birth. Another popular belief among anti-abortionists is that abortion is the equivalent of murder. This belief is reinforced in chapter 8 when there is a funeral procession for a three month old fetus. At the funeral, Offred gives us insight into the mood that accompanies the loss of a fetus when she says, “[w]e put our hands over our hearts to show these stranger women that we feel with them in their loss.” (25). Atwood also…

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