Restrictions Placed On People Can Make Them Feel Inhuman

1151 words - 5 pages

“The Handmaid’s Tale”, by Margaret Atwood, is a documentary of the gender roles in the Gilead society and the quantity of restrictions placed on women. The purpose of Atwood’s book is to provide the readers a sense of reality. She attempts to convey the message that life can change in a moment and warns the inhabitants to not take advantage of the present day society. Readers of Atwood’s book should listen to her message because she wrote the book in a time period of the future so through her book she is making a prediction. Atwood argues the many restrictions placed on women in the Gilead society and is under the impression that the government is dehumanizing women. I concur with Atwood because the women are granted no means of interaction, the clothing makes them feel like nothing, and they have to follow a required agenda that is forced upon them. The same restrictions were placed on African Americans during the time of slavery, making them feel like machines, not people.
Atwood conveys her first resentment against the restrictions placed on women with the amount of interaction allowed amongst each other. Handmaid’s in the Gilead society were restricted to talking only with cultural greetings like “praise be or we’ve been sent good weather” (19). These greetings are allowed because it averts in depth conversation among the Handmaid’s but there is some interaction to prevent insanity and rebellion. The protagonist in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is Offred. Offred shows her resentment against interaction restrictions by relating their feelings to the book. Offred believes that the restrictions keep everyone in the dark about how the government is being run and what is going both inside and outside of the Gilead society. When Offred says, “I’m ravenous for some news; even if it’s false news; it must mean something” (20), she shows how the Handmaids are so desperate for information that they are willing to believe anything they are told. Offred shows her dislike for restrictions on interaction because of the diction used. Offred used the word “ravenous” to show how desperate the handmaids are. Ravenous means “very eager or greedy for food, satisfaction, or gratification” (Ravenous). People that are ravenous are usually unstable so Offred is showing the reader that with the interaction restrictions the women are becoming unstable. The slaves in the movie “Night John” are similar to the handmaids in “The Handmaids Tale” because one interaction they are not aloud to have is reading or writing. In the movie Night John, John “secretly begins to teach her to read and write … Words, he says, are freedom. Slavery is made of words: laws, deeds and passes” (Echo). The “her” that John is teaching to read in a young slave named Sarny. Sarny begs John to teach her to read and even though he was reluctant, he does and warns her to erase of all the writing they do in the sand. The slave owner soon finds out that slaves were reading and John takes the blame, resulting...

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