The Role Of Women In The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

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The psychological phenomenon known as the “Bystander Effect” occurs when “the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. (“Bystander Effect.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers). The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, is a brilliant novel that discusses the future society of the Republic of Gilead. Each Handmaid has been assigned to a married couple who are having troubles reproducing due to fertility issues. In Gilead, the women are dehumanized and only used for reproduction. The men of this society acquire a sense of guilt, but do not act upon it. The Republic of Gilead has caused tension between the two genders, causing male privilege. All things considered, societal roles have a negative impact on people’s minds and due to society’s complacency, those with the ability to affect change, do not.
In the Republic of Gilead, women are used primarily for their reproduction services. The rights they once held are completely stripped away, and they are dehumanized. When explaining why she envies Serena Joy, Offred states, “I am a reproach to her; a necessity.” (Atwood 15). Appropriately, Handmaids have become extremely important in the lives of those who are not able to reproduce, but they are not treated with respect. These
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Men who withhold a power of dominance in the Republic of Gilead, show that they feel guilty but do not change their behaviour. Creating tension between the genders, the male who hold privilege have not acted upon to create change. To sum up, using societal roles to separate each class is a repugnant concept, which has given the upper-class a sort of permission to treat the lower class without respect and not to effect

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