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Discuss the society of Gilead in the sections have read so far The society is based upon different classes, in some form of hierarchy. The society is very patriarchal, yet the society

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  • Essay length: 861 words
  • Submitted: 17/08/2006
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GCSE Margaret Atwood

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Discuss the society of Gilead in the sections have read so far

The society is based upon different classes, in some form of hierarchy. The society is very patriarchal, yet the society depends on what is done by the women. Among the top of the hierarchy are the Commander, Aunts, Angels and Guards. The Handmaids and Marthas are examples of the lower end of the hierarchy.

This hierarchy is shown in the opening chapter when Offred describes that the Aunts. Despite the Aunts being the controlling forces in the hierarchy, they cannot carry guns. This is evident in the following quote:

"No guns though, even they could not be trusted with guns."

This shows that the Angels do not trust the Aunts. However the guards are trusted with guns as they are "specially picked" from the Angels. The hierarchy is evident in the fourth paragraph already, as it shows the lines of control from the Angels to the Guards and Aunts. The writer gives an image of the control the Aunts have under the girls by the "cattle prods" that they carry. This gives the reader an image that these handmaids are being

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