• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Margaret Atwood - The Handmaids Tale - Jezebel's

Extracts from this document...


Margaret Atwood - The Handmaids Tale - Jezebel's In this essay, I will discuss how the section of "jezebel's" (chapter 31-39) contributes to the development of the novel of "The Handmaid's Tale" (Margaret Atwood). The term "jezebel" derives from the Bible, as Jezebel was a woman who conveyed wickedness upon the kingdom of king Ahab. Also, the term jezebel is often used to describe a dissenting woman. The section of "jezebels" is significant in the novel of the handmaids tale, as it provides different views as to the importance of women, they roles etc, compared to the rest of the novel. This is one point amidst many which I will discuss in this essay. One of the most important issues that the "jezebels" sequence offers contrasting to the rest of the novel, is the alternative view regarding the roles of women. In the chapters prior to jezebels Atwood illustrates that in Gilead women are just items and objects and that they only function in society is to give birth. This is exposed in numerous occasions in the novel i.e. when offred portrays herself as a "cloud congealed around a central object". Offred say here that apart form her womb, which is a women's "central object", women in Gilead are a "cloud" which symbolises that they are nothing apart from a grey mist and are something indistinct, unclear and of no use. ...read more.


In the novel, when Offred first started seeing The Commander, The Commander simulated an understandable and likeable character towards Offred. He understood the needs of Offred and tried to in somewhat help her and bring her some enjoyment in which she required. However during the chapters in the Jezebel sequence The commander is presented in a more colder and crueller approach. When the Commander comments on the handmaid before Offred he says that she hung herself after Serena found out that she was seeing him forbiddingly. This shows that in some way The Commander is selfish and insensitive in that he has no concern for the handmaids but only thinks about himself and his own pleasures. Once a handmaid has been caught, another would come and it makes no difference to him if Offred gets caught. When Offred sees The Commander just before they go to the club of Jezebels, The Commander treats her in someway equivalent to a child. He firstly greets her by saying "how is the fair little one this evening?" and also by saying "up for a little pleasure". This makes The Commander sound patronising and this differs from previous chapters when he in some ways respected Offred and respected that they are both prisoners of Gilead. He also dresses her up with clothes and makeup for his own pleasure and again treats her to some extent like a child. ...read more.


Here, Atwood approaches Offred in a more positive manner. In chapter 35 Offred says "the arrival of the tray, carried upstairs as if for an invalid. An invalid, one who has been invalidated. No valid passport no exit". What Offred means by saying here is that in Gilead she and other women have been invalidated. Just like an invalid passport, the women of Gilead have no real identity and they are of no use. Again here Atwood presents Offred in a negative manner. Atwood then from showing Offred in a negative way, to positive, then back to negative, she shows us the club of Jezebels and shows us hopes for Offred again. She shows us that there are possibilities for Offred. The reason why Margaret Atwood chooses to continuously show the positive and subdued attitude of Offred, is to show the reader that in Gilead there are ways out and ways of breaking the laws however, there are also ways in which Gilead represses you and its up to the individual in this society to choose whether not to take the risks. The Jezebel sequence on the whole is highly significant to the novel. We many different insights into Gilead in jezebels in contrast to the rest of the novel, which makes it one of the most important sections in the novel of "The Handmaids Tale". ?? ?? ?? ?? Mohammed Ishfaq 09/05/2007 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Margaret Atwood section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Margaret Atwood essays

  1. Discuss The Handmaids Tale as a significant dystopian novel. What affect can it have ...

    They enforce the law not only by propaganda but also by using physical violence. Women in Gilead have no independent status. The names of the Handmaid's indicate that they are owned by the Commanders to whom they have been assigned.

  2. HM Essay

    Moira takes an upfront approach where as OfGlen is part of a more secretive rebellion. In the end, OfGlen's approach is not as effective since the eyes simply need to capture one person and the rest of their system falls.

  1. The Gothic Elements in the HandMaid's Tale.

    She is too brainwashed, and doesn't like to think or remember. It is simpler for her to not. "I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last."

  2. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Chapter 1: What do you think of it?

    It moves on to talk about the present day living conditions for the people there now. "We had flannelette sheets...." It reveals more about what is going on, but gives nothing away and still carries on raising unanswered questions. "......as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows."

  1. Compare and contrast "The Wars" and "The Handmaid's Tale".

    "But Devlin went on driving as many horses through [the gate] as he could until, inevitably, Captain Leather shot him." (Findley 177) Like the soldiers in "The Wars", citizens of the Gileadean society in "The Handmaid's Tale" are put into situations that are beneficial to the government, but endanger their own lives.

  2. Explore the issues concerning women and feminism raised in The Handmaids Tale

    or act against the system of the society the only thing that a woman is worth is for the use of her reproductive system and their only job they have is the function they must perform. The body that women once used to express their sexuality, the body they used

  1. Explore the way in which Margaret Atwood presents Moira 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Refer closely ...

    said Moira.' The used of direct address here brings the reader closer to the story and builds tension and suspense through the feeling that they are present at the time of conversation. The colloquialism 'loony-bin' reveals that Moira is a non-conformist; Atwood creatively uses her as a reminiscence of the time before.

  2. The Handmaid tale essay

    to visit clubs like Jezebel proves that he has no respect for females and the laws that he enforced on the males and females of Gilead doesn't apply to him because he thinks' of himself as a superior being, over the guardians and angels.In fact, they would not want to deal with elements of relationships such as love and emotions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work