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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 struggle within herself: her effort to maintain her sanity. Her narration is tainted with one main motive, which is her relentless pursuit for the past. The way things used to be things that were so basic to her. Moreover, it is her strive to regain the freedom she has been stripped of which guides her. It is her light at the end of a tunnel she has involuntarily been placed. In the republic of Gilead, women are categorized as Wives, Marthas, Aunts and Handmaids. The latter is considered to be the most valuable of their resources, for they are able to bear children. This society uses a systematic approach to produce offspring, in other words, for the republic to grow. The commanders, top- ranking officials of Gilead, are the wives’ husbands. Every so often, “ceremonies” are held where the Commander would attempt to impregnate the handmaid. If successful, the child was claimed by the wives as theirs. The handmaid was not more than a means to an end result. Violation of the norms was not tolerated. The punishment in the most cases was death, which also served as an example to the handmaids. Thus conformity with the rules was a necessity to stay alive, something she questioned if it was worth or not. In the end, Kate is accused of attending Jezebel’s with the Commander. Jezebel’s can be...

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