Repression, Denial And Sublimation In The Handmaid's Tale

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Margaret Atwood’s novel the Handmaid 's tale, uses repression, denial and sublimation to convey the tenets of psychoanalytic theory. Repression is when a person does something unconsciously because they want to hide what is going on with a specific situation. Denial is when someone does not want to accept reality, in most cases this can be not accepting the death of a lost one. Sublimation is when someone does something to hide their emotions. “The theory of psychoanalytic is fear of intimacy, betrayal, denial, displacement and so on” (Tyson). In this time period called Gilead, which was a patriarchal dystopian society where women were treated as properties, Offred questions the society and the Commander’s actions. Psychoanalysis is the conscious …show more content…
Some examples of id are wanting to question the Commanders, and going against what society expects someone to do. Also overhearing what the Commanders have to say[c]. Ofglen and Offred had a relationship where they would overhear Commanders talking about things, and this is how they would gain knowledge of what was going on at the time. "So she 's dead, and I am safe, after all... I feel thankful to her. She has died that I may live. I will mourn later" (Atwood, 286). Offred was glad that Ofglen had committed suicide because she fears that if she did not, then Offred[d] would also be in great trouble. Offred 's id takes control of her because she knows that what she was doing was bad, yet she did it anyway[e]. Also, she knew that Oflgen committed suicide and all she could think about was thanking her for doing so. Also in the end Offred is manifested with her id and superego. "I could tear my bed sheet into strips and twist it into a rope of sorts and tie one end to the leg..." (Atwood, 292). Offred wants the easy way out which would be committing suicide but instead she waits in her room until "the eye" come and gets her. Offred 's id wants to get away from it all, but her superego is telling her that that is not the way out. Another example that Offred 's id is taking over is when she and Nick have sex the first time. Offred acts on pleasure when she is having …show more content…
At the beginning of the text when Offred is introduce, Atwood lets her readers know what is the purpose of women in Gilead society. Also in Gilead society women have different roles, such as; Handmaids, Marthas, Aunts. “ waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?” (Atwood, 7 ). At the beginning Offred had these questions as to what was her purpose in life. Also she thought to herself what does she want for herself if she is not being wasted. Offred also is aware of the society and norms, and she knows that the only way to survive is to follow the rules. In the Gilead society women that have working ovaries were considered handmaids. Handmaids are women that are used to have the commanders child because in this society there was no such thing as to unsterile men. “ I have trouble remembering what I used to look like. I have viable ovaries. I have one more chance.” (Atwood, 143). Offred is aware of who she is and her purpose in the society. But Offed questions her role because she does not believe that it is fair. She believes that people can not live without love. In the Gilead society, this word “love” is something that no women should feel. The only purpose that a handmaid has is to bear the child of the

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