This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Personal Discovery Of The Protagonist In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1678 words - 7 pages

In a world where women have no freedom, it is essential to discover one’s self. Margaret Atwood portrays this idea in The Handmaid’s Tale. The protagonist, Offred, is an imprisoned Handmaid in this new world of the Republic of Gilead and has to rediscover her own past for the benefit for finding herself. There are various moments in this book when Offred is reminded of her past. When this happens, it helps herdiscoverer herself a little more. This is hard for her considering the fact that the new government says it is a sin to remember anything from the past life. While being stuck in this harsh new life, Offred struggles to remember her past and find out who she really is.
There are various moments in this book where the personal discovery of the Handmaid, Offred, is displayed. In almost every chapter there is a moment where she recognizes the everyday changes that have happened in her life. Gilead changed the lives of many different people. From having all the freedom one could ever want to having to obey the government’s every order; most people were not happy with this change. Offred was one victim in particular who did not like the new changes. It split her family apart. Her husband Luke was either taken to an unknown place or killed, her daughter was given to a different mother, and she was put to use as a Handmaid. Offred’s life was changed in many detrimental ways. Her job is to now be placed in the home of a Commander and his infertile Wifeand be a “two-legged womb(s), that’s all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices” until they give birth to a child (Atwood 136). After they give birth to the child, they are allowed to stay for a short while to nurse the child. They are then moved into the next home of a Commander to repeat the process. This is not only detrimental to the Handmaids, but also to the Wives. The Handmaids are “continual reminders of the Wives’ failure to conceive” (Callaway 55). There was no more love. The feelings were gone, just like all their freedoms. With everything taken away, Offred had to rediscover her past life with the few memories she had and redeem herself from these events.
While in the home of Commander Fred and Wife Serena Joy, Offred has ample time to sit in her room and reminisce. She has copious flashbacks of her family and best friend, Moira. But the flashbacks can only fulfill so much of her time. Then Offred got the idea to familiarize herself with the minuscule room. “I divided the room into sections, in my head; I allowed myself one section a day” (Atwood 51). Doing this would help the time pass. Offred would not be leaving that house for a while so taking her time was mandatory. On the third day of exploration, she examined the cupboard. Looking over the piece of furniture like an animal examining its prey. Then she found it. “I knelt to examine the floor, and there it was, in tiny writing, quite fresh it seemed, scratched with a pin or maybe just a fingernail, in the corner where the darkest...

Find Another Essay On Personal Discovery of the Protagonist in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

Romantic Love in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1406 words - 6 pages Romantic Love in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In her novel The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood addresses the concept of different expression of romantic love through the eyes of Offred, a woman who has lost almost all her freedom to a repressive, dystopic society. Throughout her struggle against oppression and guilt, Offred's view evolves, and it is through this process that Atwood demonstrates the nature of love as it develops

Gilead's Language System in Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"

1057 words - 4 pages The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian futuristic novel by Margaret Atwood recounts the story of a totalitarian state, Gilead, which endorses the dehumanization of women with the excuse of effacing all scurrilous events and resolving a catastrophic problem of waning population rates. Gilead's tyrannical power lies in its ability to reduce multiplicity of thought in its subjects by banning all types of reading and writing, and reducing the daily

The Role of Women in Modern Society in Comparison To Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"

1571 words - 6 pages Margaret Atwood's controversial dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, leaves the reader with the lingering question of "what if?". Set in the near future, what is known to be the United States, is overtaken by puritan conservative Christians, creating the Republic of Gilead. Assasinating the President and congress, this religious extremist movement suspended the constitution and took complete control over the government. Women in Gilead lost

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Novel and Film

2081 words - 8 pages Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Novel and Film The Handmaid's Tale, a science-fiction novel written by Margaret Atwood, focuses on women's rights and what could happen to them in the future. This novel was later made into a movie in 1990. As with most cases of books made into movies, there are some similarities and differences between the novel and the film. Overall the film tends to stay on the same track as the book with a few minor

Vision of Feminism in the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

1228 words - 5 pages Feminism in the novel The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood is a prominent theme. This novel represents the morals and horrors of a vision of feminism, which is sometimes taken to the extremes. Women’s rights have been downgraded and as a result of this women are used to bear children and are constantly watched by the eye. The Handmaids are considered powerful figures in the novels’ society while living in a dystopia of cultural

Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale

1061 words - 4 pages Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale illustrates that dictatorship can be established by creating a state of fear once language controls are instituted. As a tradition to dystopian novels, Atwood has drawn much attention to the meaning of words and the significance of names, as well as the prohibition for women to read or write, in order to portray Gilead as a successful totalitarian state. Atwood is

Imaginary Space In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale

1821 words - 8 pages Imaginary Space In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale “One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one” Simone de Beauvoir. The female body is being constructed by the patriarchal system, which is under the control of the societal institutions like state, family, and economy where power operates in the form of culture, tradition, religion and so on. The societal construction of gender takes place through the workings of ideology. Ideology

Critical Analysis Of 'The Handmaid's Tale' By Margaret Atwood

1052 words - 5 pages The creation of Offred, the passive narrator of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, was intentional. The personality of the narrator in this novel is almost as important as the task bestowed upon her. Atwood chooses an average women, appreciative of past times, who lacks imagination and fervor, to contrast the typical feminist, represented in this novel by her mother and her best friend, Moira. Atwood is writing for a specific audience

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

1764 words - 7 pages Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Toronto: McClelland-Stewart, 1985, Seal Books edition 1998In "The Handmaid's Tale" one of the main themes is the influence of government. All areas of peoples' lives are controlled by the government, which is a totalitarian regime. The government in Gilead rules with the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority. The state in this case believes (or at least

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

1528 words - 6 pages English LiteratureThe Handmaids TaleWill society ever reach a point where it is considered the 'natural norm' by all, and therefore unable to undergo further change? It is impossible to imagine that such a point could ever exist, as all people would have different belief, values and expectations according to their past experiences. In The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the oppressive Gilead regime enforces their new ideals on the

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

623 words - 2 pages In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, our eyes are open to an oppressive society of which seems to be the near future. Widespread sterility has led to the rich controlling young women of childbearing age, who are called “handmaidens”. The tale is narrated by Kate, also known as “Offred”, her handmaid name. She relates her struggle throughout in the most vivid of ways. The struggle around her: the oppressive Republic of Gilead, and the

Similar Essays

Feminism In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1085 words - 4 pages Feminism in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood explores the role that women play in society and the consequences of a countryís value system. She reveals that values held in the United States are a threat to the livelihood and status of women. As one critic writes, “the author has concluded that present social trends are dangerous to individual welfare” (Prescott 151).  The novel is set in the

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Essay

1567 words - 6 pages Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Chapter nine opening section two of the novel is mainly recalling the last chapters and about the narrator rediscovering herself, surfacing the truth. In section one we see the narrator talking in the present tense in a very descriptive form, outlining the novel. However in section two we see her talking in the past tense demonstrating the stories she is telling. The separation between the human

Representation Of Colors In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1784 words - 7 pages Representation of Colors in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Imagine if you can, living in a world that tells you what you are to wear, where to live, as well as your position and value to society. In Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale, she shows us the Republic of Gilead does just that. Offred, the main character, is a Handmaid, whose usefulness is her ovaries. Handmaids are ordered to live in a house with a Commander, his

The Dystopia In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1079 words - 4 pages The Dystopia in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Offred is a Handmaid in what used to be the United States, now the theocratic Republic of Gilead. In order to create Gilead's idea of a more perfect society, they have reverted to taking the Book of Genesis at its word. Women no longer have any privileges; they cannot work, have their own bank accounts, or own anything. The also are not allowed to read or even chose who they want to