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

"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 unsuspecting population. When compared with our contemporary society, the Gilead rule shows us our world in a different and more critical light and shocks us with what we see. It shows us the truth, makes us realise, pulls back the layers of cotton wool and forces us to look at the world as it really is, how it may come to be and the evils and problems within it.The Handmaid's Tale, being science fiction, is based around the future of our society today. Margaret Atwood is predicting what our world will be like if we continue on the way we are. She uses common problems throughout the world such as pollution of the environment to relate people from all walks of life to what has happened in Gilead. By exaggerating these potential disasters she shows us our future in order to shock us into an awareness that our present activities are not only endangering the environment and the animals whose habitats we are destroying but also jeopardizing the survival of the human race.The way the new regime is enforced also makes us look at our society with a critical eye. The change to the Gilead way is very gradual and slowly creeps up on the people without them realising it. "Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually warming bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it" . Who is to say that this would not be possible in our time with all the propaganda around telling us what to think? This shows how easy it might be for a small group of well placed people to influence whole populations, bending them to their will without their knowledge. How do we know what we are being told is true?The main character, Offred, has been created in such a way as to make you empathise with her and trust her opinions and point of view. In her life before the Gilead reform we know that she was not a raging feminist like her mother and best friend Moira, nor was she a submissive woman under the thumb of her husband. Because of the fact that she does not seem to be biased in her opinion of gender and power relationships we can take what she tells us as a level view of the society. We believe that what she is telling us is as close to the truth as possible and therefore what she tells us has a greater effect.Throughout the story everything is described as it is, very calmly with no added emotion as that would only cloud the reality. Offred presents the facts of the situation as though she is watching what is going on and has no direct part in it at all. When she is describing the ceremony she simply states what is happening, she gives nothing...

Find Another Essay On "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

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

Heros in Gilgamesh by David Ferry and Offred The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

961 words - 4 pages focus on two, Gilgamesh from Gilgamesh by David Ferry and Offred from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. At first glance, Gilgamesh is the embodiment of a bad ruler. He is all knowing, prideful, tyrannical, and cruel. For example, it is stated, "Gilgamesh, the strongest one of all, the perfect, the terror (4)." The people of Uruk criticize of his domination to the gods and the gods react by constructing Enkidu to

The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

793 words - 3 pages The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The commander can be seen as a man torn between two worlds, he was one of the founders of Gilead yet still enjoys and yearns for the pleasures of the old society he managed to break. It can be seen as ' he has made his bed and now he must sleep in it'. The commander is cool and collected on the surface but underneath he is bitter and corrupted

The theme of power and control as demonstrated through The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

2232 words - 9 pages of the patriarchal society. Therefore, the Commander and the Commander's Wives are at the top of the power structure in society, and the Handmaids are below them.It is clear that the dystopic novel, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood demonstrates the theme of power and control through the depiction of the Republic of Gilead; a severely oppressive society. This theme is portrayed by the role of government, the role of the Aunts, and the

Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

932 words - 4 pages Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Offred recounts the story of her life and that of others in Gilead, but she does not do so alone. The symbolic meanings found in the dress code of the women, the names/titles of characters, the absence of the mirror, and the smell and hunger imagery aid her in telling of the repugnant conditions in the Republic of Gilead. The

The Handmaids Tale, by Margaret Atwood

880 words - 4 pages In Margaret Atwoods ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear of one women’s posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

989 words - 4 pages “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”-Alice Walker. What this quote really means is that people are hopeless and they don’t realize on what they could do. They only focus on what’s going to happen next and about their safety, but they don’t notice that they are giving up their power to the government, leaving them powerless. Margaret Atwood examines power and peoples attempts to control each other

Group Analysis of the Imagery, Symbolism, Figurative Language, Ironic Devices and more for "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

2709 words - 11 pages Imagery: Throughout the novel, "The Handmaid's Tale", Margaret Atwood presents an astonishing amount of vivid imagery and description that makes up the style and flow of the novel. Perhaps the first images present in the novel are that of light and dark. Listed in the table of contents, the reader can see that nearly every other section is entitled Night. Night is usually associated with darkness and fear, although to Offred this connotation is

An Argument on whether or not The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood should be banned- Pro Dystopia

2835 words - 11 pages concept. The opposition's claims prove that those particular readers did not see the underlying concepts of the novel.The Handmaid's Tale "is a recollection of specific atrocities of the American experience, atrocities that Atwood authenticates by reviewing the imagery of containment evident in the Puritan ideology and horridly intensified in the slave accounts of black females". ("We Lived"). If we cannot learn from history, then history will

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

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

The Handmaid's Tale: A Reflection of the Past and Warnings for Future Generations Author: Margaret Atwood

6272 words - 25 pages becoming more successful, content and accomplished. The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian novel, displays patriarchy and approaches what roles men and women have in the new society. When the United States suffered a right-wing takeover, the Republic of Gilead, a system designed by Atwood, takes over to resolve the problems of infertility and the decreasing population in the society. Offred, the protagonist, guides readers through her point of view of the

Similar Essays

"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

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

The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

661 words - 3 pages In The Handmaid’s Tale, much use is made of imagery; to enable the reader to create a more detailed mental picture of the novel’s action and also to intensify the emotive language used. In particular, Atwood uses many images involving flowers and plants. The main symbolic image that the flowers provide is that of life; in the first chapter of the novel Offred says “…flowers: these are not to be dismissed. I am alive.” Many of the flowers

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