The Role Of Women In The Handmaid's Tale

Decent Essays
Women have worked towards gaining equal treatment in society since the late 1800s because they have always been said to belong at home and not in the workplace. During World War II, women were able to acquire jobs because labor was extremely scarce and supplies were vital. Scenarios such as this are known as sexism. Misogyny of this type makes women feel degraded and horribly beguiled. Yet, women are still being deprived of their rights because of idiotic and sexist reasons, even though they are capable of doing the task at hand. Such treatment causes women to be seen as a minority to everyone because some people believe the sole purpose of a woman is to cook, clean, raise the kids, and have no voice. Yet, similar issues have surfaced in history …show more content…
Atwood sets her in a radical society where everyone must follow the laws or else die; everyone is divided into categories based on their purpose in society. Atwood explains throughout her novel how the girls must behave, what to say and not say, what to do, and what to wear. For some people, experiences similar to Offred’s can make someone feel controlled and extremely passive. Perkins explains in her critical essay “women in Gilead must concentrate on basic survival and so avoid direct, honest reactions to this marginalization and the terror tactics of those in power.” Women cannot react, only suppress their emotions and continue one’s life. The novel enhances the viewpoint of people about the treatment of women and how to appreciate life. Throughout the novel, Atwood gradually exceeds Offred’s character to rebel against the laws and challenges she faces only to be victorious in the end. Women, such as African American slaves, can relate to Offred because these women have dealt with verbal abuse, inequality, and sexual encounters with their owners. A student described The Handmaid 's Tale as “one of the most fascinating and compelling novels she had ever read. She became so wrapped up in the novel that she found it difficult to put the novel down. She felt she was alongside Offred, experiencing everything that Atwood 's

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Mallard and the Woman both go through several conflicts that show the struggles women face when trying to conform with societal standards at the time in which they lived. Mrs. Mallard was living in the 1800’s where women didn 't have rights. She knew this yet she wanted all, she wanted everything a man had. During this time, women were looked as the weaker sex and were not allowed to own property, sign contracts, vote or have a job. Women were also restricted to just being housewives and taking care of the kids.…

    • 2230 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Throughout years of telling the female gender this, it got to the point that young girls did not know that there were any opportunities outside of a husband and children. Women were expected to clean, sew, cook and “their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers” (5). While this might sound nice for some people, many others have much bigger ambitions. A family and children are nice, and sometimes that is the best thing that can happen to a woman, but it is not their full identity. Men were basically stealing the women’s lives, not allowing them to have a say in major decisions, and making them oblivious to the outside world.…

    • 1057 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Unfortunately, local employers only hire women for low-paying, uninteresting jobs that Jane would not find fulfilling. Friedan, Frye, and hooks all have different opinions about Jane’s situation. Starting off with Betty Friedan, if she were to look at Jane’s situation she would believe that Jane was in a dangerous condition. Friedan believes that being a housewife can create a sense of emptiness,…

    • 861 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Women were expected to cook, clean, have babies, and take care of the home. They were not allowed to think, be well educated or question their husbands. “Her contradictions however are unheard. She can only counter Johns dictums literally by refusing to speak, or metaphorically, by revealing the blankness behind the wallpaper” (Ford). The narrator is different from the typical woman at this time and she resents the men for their pressures put on her.…

    • 1063 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Women are often frustrated and turned away from jobs forcing them to become housewives. Although the common perception in the workplace is that women are secondary workers, this is not true in all cases. Many women who are single mothers or just women who wish to thrive and collect income just as a male who is the head of a household would. For example, the greater portion of my childhood my mother was a single…

    • 383 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For centuries women have been oppressed by the gender division of labour with the man working outside and the woman confined to the narrow boundaries of the home, raising children. In the 21st century, this divide is gradually eroding with more and more women opting for a career over kids and household work. Women today step out of the house and demand their rights to be worthy of getting well-paid jobs which enables them to stand on their own feet and not depend on a man or her children. Gender stereotypes are being dismantled by strong, ambitious women who believe that having children and being a mother are not the only purpose in their life. They don’t feel obliged anymore to take care of the household or feed children.…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Betty Friedan Feminism

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Daughters of unhappy women read the book and finally understood their mother 's’ actions. People were so heavily affected by the book that they wrote to Friedan, expressing their gratitude to Friedan for helping them understand themselves. The Feminine Mystique started the Women’s Movement– women all over the country were realizing how unfairly they had been treated and how much more life has to offer for them. People started campaigning and protesting to end workplace discrimination and make anti-discrimination laws. From reading the book, women had the courage to leave unhappy marriages, get reeducated, look for jobs, explore their lifelong interests, and gain independence from the stereotype that was restricting their opportunities.…

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kate Chopin is acclaimed for her fictional stories surrounded around the implicit oppression that the sexual caste system had on women in the late 1800’s. In this time period women were treated as nothing more than simple possessions that provided a service to their male counterparts, rather than the sentient human beings that they were. Women began to experience conflicting thoughts and feelings when it came to their responsibilities in marriage, but were expected to remain meek and passive. Due to her style of writing, Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” courageously broke the silence and created a platform for a new women’s narrative, one without the unrealistic confines of societal norm’s, as well as the emotional and physical imprisonment…

    • 1502 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This was a result of some women acknowledging the fact that a man was not their superior, “your opinion is not my reality” (Maraboli). By having this mindset, women demonstrated their defiance towards society. Challenging society, however, was excruciatingly difficult. Thus, forcing women to be grateful for every amount of power that they could obtain from their, “domesticity and ancillary roles” in order to exercise as much power as they possible could “in ways that challenge certain norms” (Hall 203). With the constant feeling of depression and inadequacy, some women decided to obviate society’s gender roles entirely from their lives, “every step which she took toward reliving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual” (Chopin 103).…

    • 1212 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It really made me understand the type of struggles women have been through, women overall thought many generations have fought for human rights because we have always been viewed weak. Doing this project also made me realize that a lot of women still today don’t get appreciated for what they do, they also get discriminated still. Women are still not viewed capable to do the things men do. While I was looking more in depth for two quotes we wanted to put in our project it really made me think that women are not appreciated and still now viewed as important as men. Since having babies is big deal to Gilead it made me realize that women are not view special…

    • 1001 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics