The Handmaid's Tale Analysis

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Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale, constructs a near-future dystopia where human values do not progress and evolve, but instead become completely diminished and dominated under the Republic of Gilead. …show more content…
The Commander hosting the service makes a speech to the crowd: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection…All…But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve?(221). The Bible is once again used selectively, isolating only the passages that pertain to Gilead's interests, which in this case is restricting women to be submissive. Gilead is trying to implement the fact that women should be subservient to men in society by literally justifying it from a myth in the Bible. This is only one of the stories of creation in Genesis, and is secluded and appropriated to make the women believe that "if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety,?(to the Republic of Gilead) "they shall be saved by childbearing?(221). The theocracy of Gilead encourages the handmaids and women in their society to continue to obey the hierarchies of their totalitarian-like regime, and in turn also have them provide children for them. The most economical way that Gilead can make the women obey this rule is to brainwash them with selected passages from the Bible that are taken literally to justify Gilead's laws. Atwood makes it clear that it is easy for Gilead to appropriate the Bible out of context and manipulate the women into believing they must be obedient and passive. This is due to the fact that they are …show more content…
Taking the Bible literally helps Gilead justify the treatment it is forcing women to endure, and leads to misconception and distortion of the Bible's original meaning. The Bible took place in a different time period and Atwood shows that it was not wholly intended to be taken literally in the context of a new society in the twentieth century. Atwood demonstrates this by showing how appropriating the Bible entirely abolished the freedom and privacy that belonged to women, and fear and vulnerability became instilled by Gilead into the social institutions of this new

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