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Discussion of Womens Culture In "A Handmaids Tale".

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Introduction

"You wanted a woman's culture. Well, now there is one. It isn't what you meant but it exists. Be thankful for small miracles." Discuss the idea of a woman's culture in the novel so far - contrast between idea and reality. In 'A Handmaid's Tale' Margaret Atwood presents the idea of a society that has undergone extreme changes in a short period of time. The role of the woman has definitely shifted, but the efforts of the woman of a time before had completely different motives. The idea of the people that we assume are feminists in the time before the regime, such as Offred's mother for instance, was to have a world where women were valued as equally as men. Now in Gilead woman are valued but simply as a requirement, like an essential ingredient. They are needed for making babies, and are granted basic human needs, but they are not respected for what they do, in fact quite the opposite. ...read more.

Middle

From this we can see how the regime has actually driven them to suicidal tendencies. Jobs fall under part of this equality that the people strived for. Women wanted equality in the work industry. In the scene where Offred's mother takes her to the burning of porn in the park we see that they don't agree that women are portrayed in this way. Now they are not portrayed in that particular way, they are completely covered up, including their faces. However, they are still objectified, "We are vessels." Offred even begins to see herself that way, which is even more menacing. Serena Joy used to be on television making speeches, "She doesn't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn't seem to agree with her. How furious she must be, now that she's been taken at her word." ...read more.

Conclusion

"We are no longer single." They all dress the same, are expected to act the same and have the same purpose. Even if there is a flicker of unintentional individuality, they are sent away, which is something that Atwood constantly alludes to making it seem somewhat ominous. If they cannot produce children they are called unwomen basically meaning they are not women, simply because she could not produce a child. The same with the unchildren, if they are different, they are taken away. In conclusion, there is a clear transition in the role of women and the way there are seen, but it is not a positive transition. Woman are essential to the regime, but they are not respected, they are objects that are used in order to get what the society needs out of them, and they are re-used and re-used and if they cannot do what they are meant to, they are disposed of. The brutality of the force of the regime outlines the oppression that women now face under the power of the regime. ...read more.

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