The Handmaids Tale Analysis

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Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s TaleThis is a futuristic novel that takes place in northern USAsometime in the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the oppressive and totalitarian Republic of Gilead. The regime demandshigh moral, retribution and a virtuous lifestyle. The Bible is theguiding principle. As a result of the sexual freedom, freeabortion and a high increase of venereal diseases at the end ofthe twentieth century, many women, (and men also, but that isforbidden to say), are sterile. The women, who are still fertile,are recruited as Handmaids, and their only mission in life is togive birth to the offspring of their Commander, whose wife isinfertile.The main character in the book is Offred, one of these unfortunateservants who’s only right to exist depends on her ovariesproductivity. She lives with her commander and his wife in ahighly supervised centre.Unlike men, women have been facing unique problems for centuries,and often women experience harassment and discrimination. Intoday’s society, females are trying to combat their tribulationsthrough lawsuits and protest rallies. Literature often deals withpeople being unable to articulate their problems. Often,unforeseen circumstances force people to conceal their trueemotions. In “The Handmaid’s Tale” the main female characters find ways to escape their situations rather than deal with them.Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale uses different tactics to copewith her situation. She is trapped within a distopian societycomprised of a community riddled by despair. Though she is notphysically tortured, the overwhelming and ridiculously powerful government mentally enslaves her. Offred lives in a horrificsociety, which prevents her from being freed. Essentially, thegovernment enslaves her because she is a female, and she isfertile. Offred’s reminisces about the way life used to be byremembering stories about her husband Luke, her daughter, and herbest friend Moira, provides her with temporary relief from herbinding situation. Also, Offred befriends the Commander’s aide,Nick. Offred longs to be with her husband and she feels that shecan find his love by being with Nick. She risks her life severaltimes just to be with Nick. Feeling loved by Nick gives her a window of hope in her otherwise miserable life.

Unlike men, women have been facing unique problems for centuries. Oftentimes, women experience harassment and discrimination. In today’s society,females are trying to combat their tribulations through law suits andprotest rallies. Literature often deals with people being unable toarticulate their problems. Often, unforeseen circumstances force people toconceal their true emotions. In “Raise the Red Lantern”, The Handmaid’sTale, and “A Doll’s House”, the main female characters find ways to escapetheir situations rather than deal with them.

Lastly, Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale uses different tactics to copewith her situation. Offred, the main character of the novel, is trappedwithin a distopian society comprised of a community riddled by despair.Though she is not physically tortured, she is mentally enslaved by theoverwhelming and ridiculously powerful government. First off, Offredreminisces about the way life used to be by remembering stories about Luke,her husband, Moira, her best friend, and her daughter. As mentionedearlier, Offred lives in a horrific society which prevents her from beingfreed. Essentially, the government enslaves Offred because she’s a female,and she’s fertile. Remembering stories of the past provide her with temporary relief from her binding situation. Also, Offred befriends the Commander’s aide, Nick. Offred longs to be loved by her husband, and shefeels that she can find that love by being with Nick. Offred risks her lifeseveral times just to be with Nick. Feeling loved by Nick gives Offred awindow of hope in her otherwise dismal life. Finally, instead ofproclaiming her feelings out loud, she suppresses her feelings. The resultis a series of recordings which depict her life and the things she wishesshe could change. Through these examples, it is apparent that Offred cannotface her problems because of outside circumstances. Works such as “Raise the Red Lantern”, The Handmaid’s Tale, and “ADoll’s House” deal with females being unable to face their problems. Aplethora of authors have written on this subject matter. Though some problems are unavoidable, one can overcome certain situations by being more assertive. Along with male domination and the laws of society, women havehad to contend with other challenging and oppressing situations. Yetdespite this, women in modern society are becoming more powerful.

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