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The Gothic Elements in the HandMaid's Tale.

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  • Essay length: 2095 words
  • Submitted: 04/11/2003
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GCSE Margaret Atwood

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The Gothic Elements in the HandMaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood's epic novel The Handmaid's Tale is on all counts a great read and a classic feministic work. But, by examining it more closely it is evident that the novel has deeper roots and shows characteristics of the gothic novel. Throughout this piece, I shall reveal and discuss the gothic elements in The Handmaid's Tale such as the relevance of the castle, women in distress, the mysterious inscription and others, by comparing it to two other gothic novels; Romance of the Forest and Dracula.

In most gothic novels the heroine is threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male; Adeline's life is menaced by the Marquis de Montalt (Romance of the Forest) and both Lucy and Mina's lives are menaced by Count Dracula. The Handmaid's Tale is a bit different in that the main idea is women of the society being threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male dominated system. In their new society, the women rank importance with their fertility. If a woman is not fertile she is made to be a 'Martha' - a cook or a servant. If she is fertile - she becomes a

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