An Argument On Whether Or Not The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood Should Be Banned Pro Dystopia

2835 words - 11 pages

Pro Dystopia"I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting" (122). This is the desire of Margaret Atwood's central character Offred in The Handmaid's Tale. The novel is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead which is formally the United States of America. Placing the blame on Islamic fanatics, a right-wing extremist movement guns down the president along with the congress, and takes total control of the government. Within days, citizens namely women, begin to realize that their freedoms are being taken away. The United States is transformed into an American dystopia full of environmental pollution, state supervision and Puritanical fundamentalism. With this transformation, comes a transformation of the way citizens are accustomed to live. Families are ripped apart and taken to different locations in the regime. They are either used as a "resource" for the betterment of society or killed. In this case, Offred is sent to a school to be re-educated about her new life and the responsibilities that come with it. She is then sent to a house to be a handmaid whose only functions are to go to the market and buy the food daily and to, most importantly, produce children for the Commander and his wife whom she is staying with. So begins the story of the handmaid Offred with whom the reader connects and goes along with on a journey of personal growth. The Handmaid's Tale presents delicate issues that may be unsuitable for immature audiences. Topics of sex, oppression, social and political reorganization along with gender hierarchy prove to be too challenging or too explicit for younger audiences. Although it is right to challenge The Handmaid's Tale for children that are not yet in high school, it proves to be an intriguing, thought provoking story for mature audiences that portrays one woman's struggle with oppression.The Bible is the basis of law and everyday life to the Gileadeans. However, this regime manipulates Biblical terms by taking verses out of the context of their meanings and inserting other non-Biblical sayings .The principles of the Gileadean regime are mainly founded on verses in the Bible located in Genesis 30:1-3:When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or I'll die!' Jacob became angry with her and said, 'Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?' Then she said, 'Here is Bilhah, my maidservant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family.'(63)This is the establishment of the role of the handmaid. Handmaids go through a monthly ritual involving her Commander inseminating her. In this ceremony, the sexual act must not contain any emotion. This detached and abnormal state of mind forces the reader to concentrate on the male dominance that is clearly a central issue in the text: "What he is fucking is the lower part of my body. I...

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