Essay Preview: Haidmaids Tale
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The novel, The Handmaid\s Tale, by Margaret Atwood focuses on the choices made by the society of Gilead in which the preservation and imprisionmeny of mankind is more highly regarded than freedom or happiness. I think that Ms. Atwood believes that the possibility of our society becoming as that of Gilead is very evident in the choices that we make today and from what has occurred
in the past. Our actions will inevitably catch up to us when we are most vulnerable.In The Handmaid\s Tale ,A new society is created by a group of people who strengthen and maintain their power by any means necessary including torture and death. A Handmaid\s Tale, can be compared to the morning after a bad fight within an abusive relationship. Being surrounded by rules that must be obeyed because of being afraid of the torture that will be received. There are no other choices because there is control over what is done, who you see and talk to, and has taken you far away from your family. You have no money or way out. The new republic of Gilead takes it laws to an even higher level because these laws are said to be of God and by disobeying them you are disobeying him. People are already likely to do anything for their God especially when they live in fear of punishment or death. The republic of Gilead is created and maintains its power structure through the use of religion, laws that isolate people from communication to one another and their families, and the fear of punishment for disobeying the law. Ms. Atwood presents a ficitonal world in order to comment on the real world and i shall expand on how this occurs further into my essay.
One of the most important themes of The Handmaid\s Tale is the presence and manipulation of power. Gilead\spower is imposed from the top. There is no possibility of appeal, no method of legally protecting oneself from the government, and no hope that an outside power will intervene. One of the characteristics of this kind of power is that it is extremely visible. Power imposed from one direction must always be displayed.in Gilead, the government must cover the streets and even individual homes with guards and guns. The possibility of surveillance must be constant. The only place that people are free is in their own heads, creating a significant amount of isolation between individuals. Despite the Gilead regime\s success at imposing order, Atwood\s characters demonstrate that even if any substantial power is taken from people, they will still find a way to maintain control over themselves and other individuals. Offred manipulates her sexuality in the subtlest ways, aware for the first time of how much power she has simply because she is a woman. Though she has absolutely no ability to follow through on her suggestions, she knows that she is awakening ideas in men\s heads, and that she is communicating with the Guardians under the Angels\ very noses. Offred learns that Handmaids kill themselves in order to maintain some final sense of power over their bodies and decisions, and indeed, the thought of suicide is always in the back of her mind. Through her relationship to the Commander, Offred gains real power, but she is afraid to test its limits. Ultimately she discovers that her powers over him were useless, as he will do nothing to save her from the wrath of his wife. The use of power throught this novel is huge and is releated to every issue in Maragret Atwoods Novel.
Margret Atwoods book The Haidmaids Tale and can be seen as a warning or a relay of the past. But are these issues just a furture or past issue? the answer is No. Even today there are places in the world where there is startling similar to this novel. In Pakistan, women\s rights are non-existant, and many policies are that of Gilead in The Handmaid\s Tale. In Gilead, the handmaids must cover their bodies and faces almost completely with vales and wings. In Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Bahrain, and similar South Asian countries, this is a must for women. Other Gileadean-like persecutions take place towards women. In Pakistan, women can be raped, and unless there is full proof that there was no consent, the man will get off scot free, and the women charged with pre-marital sex and sentenced to a prison term. In Afghanistan, the police force has and continue to torture and rape innocent women for unnecessary reasons. This is similar to The Handmaid\s Tale in that Offred, and other handmaids, not only go through the \”The Ceremony\”, but also can be used and possibly even raped by their Commanders, and there is nothing the handmaid can do about it. If she speaks, she is usually not believed, and then she is sent away because she broke the law. The handmaid would usually die for making such accuasations, As do the wemon in Pakistan. Women are given little to no rights in Gilead. They obey what they are told by the men or by the Aunts (who get their orders from the men). They are not permitted to read or write, or participate in any extra-curricular activity. They are alive only to serve a purpose. In countries such Iran, women are subject to similar laws. Although more recently they may be allowed to read and write, it is on a strict level only, and activities
are out of the question. There is no specific law against it, however with the Islamic government making it manditory for all women to wear complete body coverings, sports and other activities are nearly impossible. Women in Gilead belong to the men. Whether it was Offred, Ofglen, or Ofwarren, they were possessive items. In many Arabic countries, women belong to their husband. Men, in turn, may have many women, which belong to them. They must obey their husbands, or the husband legally has to right to do what he want to his wife. The Handmaids in Gilead had one purpose: to have babies. However, two-thirds of the babies were killed because of imperfections. This is very similar to South Asian countries. Many babies are killed every day either because of imperfections or because they are just not wanted. In India, female babies have to be killed, reportedly 16 million every year \”It feels as if you\ve been turned inside out. You\ve just given birth and finally you feel emptied. You\
e exhausted. Your breasts are painfully full of milk. And then you look at your baby. And you see that she\s a little girl. And you know that you have to kill her.\” Replace \little girl\ with unbaby, and it could be an exact account from a Handmaid in Gilead, at the loss of her baby. However, it\s a quote from a woman in India in 1996.The women In the Handmaids Tale were distinguished by the color of robes they wore, which reached to the ground, revealing nothing. This was another way of keeping them safe,