The handmaids tale by margaret atwood english literature essay

Inshe began studying at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. Personal life InAtwood married Jim Polk; they were divorced in In their daughter, Eleanor Jess Atwood Gibson, was born. The family returned to Toronto in

The handmaids tale by margaret atwood english literature essay

Gilead is a society constructed by men, and Offred and her fellow handmaids are stripped of all personal possessions, taken away from their families, and their identities destroyed.

Literary Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale

The handmaids are categorized, given numbers and turned into disposable commodities, their only unique identity being a name defined by the men who control them. However, whilst Offred deplores the situation she is in, she often remains passive, just as she did when the regime first came into power, choosing to wait and see the outcome instead of acting against it: By having the protagonist being an angry but actively submissive character, Atwood is warning us about doing nothing in the face of inequality, however Offred gradually gains the confidence to use her womanliness and sexuality to get some power and control in her life.

Offred obviously adores Moira, describing her with a great energy and vitality for life: Got any cigs, she said. Remembering Moira gives Offred hope and gives her the strength to survive: We hugged her to us, she was with us in secret, a giggle; she was lava beneath the crust of daily life.

In light of Moira, Aunts were less fearsome and more absurd. However after her escape Offred discovers Moira in a brothel, her radical spirit seems to be broken and lost as she chose sexually serving men over a life in the colonies. It seems that Atwood is showing how a dictating regime will eventually crush even the most resilient person: However Offred herself does occasionally show signs of rebellion, such as her relationships with Ofglen and Nick.

However her feelings of closeness to Nick lead her to believe that her situation is bearable, and she stops talking to Ofglen about the Mayday movement, therefore continuing to give up her freedom and remain submissive. Her only true act of rebellion is her enquiries about the disappearance of Ofglen, as she says: Around the first of May I think it was.

The Handmaid's Tale

What they used to call May Day. This is incredibly reckless behaviour, and Offred regrets it straight away, realising that to be a rebel you cannot be fearful of the outcome: The women of Gilead are also portrayed as ignorant, mindless individuals who genuinely believe that the authority of men and the regime is the right way to live.

Serena Joy and Aunt Lydia are two women who actively preached the benefits of the regime.

The handmaids tale by margaret atwood english literature essay

However having achieved what she argued for, Serena Joy has become a mean, bitter and unhappy women, with little purpose in her life, apart for sewing and caring for he garden: It seems that without having a child to care for, the infertile high ranked woman seek fulfilment in nurturing the natural world.

Atwood demonstrates with Serena how the dystopian society cannot make even the richest and highest ranked woman happy. It demonstrates how Serena Joy has to internalise her unhappiness, therefore intensifying it, and taking out her frustration of Offred.

Serena cruelly manipulates Offred with the fact that she knows where her child is, showing no compassion or understanding for her situation. Atwood shows that despite the male dominance of Gilead, it is the ignorant and senseless way in which women control and oppress other women that keeps the society running the way it does.

Atwood presents Aunt Lydia as another ignorant woman, unequivocally devoted to the Gileadean regime; however she has been given power, making her much more dangerous than the passive Serena Joy. Aunt Lydia is one of the few women in the Gileadean Regime given any sort of authority over others, and she obviously relishes the role: She is warning us that if we do not seek knowledge we will remain the proletariat; controlled by the powerful.

Modesty is invisibility, said Aunt Lydia. Offred wholeheartedly resents Aunt Lydia, and Atwood uses her cruel, phrases to demonstrate to the reader the profound hypocrisy of the regime: She is rich in pauses, which she savours in her mouth.

Think of yourselves as pearls. How to cite this page Choose cite format:Atwood presents women as intelligent, submissive, rebellious, ignorant and powerful. The narrator of the story, Offred is desperate to escape her life however she is fearful of the consequences of any rebellion, and ultimately submits to her fate.

All you need to know about Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is in this advanced guide to the text. Connell Guides are advanced guide books that offer sophisticated analysis and broad critical perspectives for higher-level GCSE and A Level English Literature students.

Mar 10,  · In the introduction to her essay collection In Other Worlds, Atwood defines “speculative fiction” as “realistic and plausible” whereas science fiction contains more fantastic caninariojana.comlitting maybe, but for Atwood it means that dystopias—at least her dystopias—are not simply philosophical thought experiments divorced from lived reality, like much utopian fiction.

The handmaids tale by margaret atwood english literature essay

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The Handmaid's Tale Essay