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How is Gilead presented to us over the opening nine chapters of "The Handmaids Tale"?

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  • Essay length: 1393 words
  • Submitted: 18/08/2003
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GCSE Margaret Atwood

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How is Gilead presented to us over the opening nine chapters of "The Handmaids Tale"?

Everything we know about Gilead, we find out from a handmaid named Offred. The story was written to represent the future, but is now the past so is the historical present. Al the information we find out is released to us very slowly. The republic of Gilead is now under a dictatorship like totalitarian rule, which is highly patririarchal. The book is set out to be a fictive autobiography, and is written in a non-chronological order. This is to confuse the reader to show Offred's confused feelings in this society.

The first things we find out about the rules in Gilead are referring to sexual, or any other feelings that may result in a person rebelling against the society. The handmaid's role in the society is very important, and they are given special "schooling" to teach them how to become good handmaids. This so called schooling is more a way of taking over their minds by means of indoctrination. At these places, called red centres, the women are treated more like animals than people "they had electric cattle prods slung on

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