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

"The Handmaid's Tale" Societies Assignment.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Diego P�rez 10-2 August 29, 2003 "The Handmaid's Tale" Societies Assignment "The Handmaid's Tale", written by Margaret Atwood, is set in two different times simultaneously, both being separate societies, with unlike moral principles. While Atwood describes the pre-Gilead society as one dealing with an unmanageable amount of injustices regarding women, since pornography, prostitution, and violence against women were getting out of the government's hands. Nevertheless, women were allowed to read in the pre-Gilead society, and had a wide amount of liberties compared to the ones handmaids in Gilead receive. Also, the society before Gilead was formed suffered from conflicts between religions and racial tensions, also known as the "Sect Wars". On the other hand, Gilead, being the present society in the novel, shows a much more distant difference in liberties between both sexes. Women are used as procreation tools, and cannot have privacy whatsoever with the laws enforced by the system, such as not letting handmaids close their bedroom's door completely. ...read more.

Middle

Atwood describes the contrary of the rights gained by the feminists in the past century, including the legalization of abortion, which is being prohibited in Gilead. Other rights being undone by Gilead's system are the right for women to vote, and their access to contraception devices. At the same time, Atwood criticizes the situation experienced in the 1980s regarding the fear towards pollution and infertility, by reflecting such dangers in the pre-Gilead society, and coming up with Gilead as the solution for both problems. A more recent issue mentioned in "The Handmaid's Tale" is North America's religious policies, which are unfair, and are expressed in an exaggerated way through the wall with the citizens who have suffered death penalty, and the "Sect Wars". Elements that aren't important in real life carry a large importance in "The Handmaid's Tale". ...read more.

Conclusion

This may be seen throughout the novel, where you can see that women are treated like objects of procreation. In a sense, Gilead has only brought inconformity into the world, as women cannot read, write, or do things by their own, and men live a boring life, according to their descriptions, as most have had their sexual and philosophical liberties taken away as well. "I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will... Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I'm a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping." (Chapter 13). This quote expresses that Offred feels her womb is now a state's property, and that she has been oppressed by the society so that she appears to be just a superficial part of what she really is. ...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. The Handmaids tale by Atwood and Hard Times by Dickens - Both authors are ...

    Dickens' novel is therefore a product of this period; a "novel that uses its characters and stories to expose the massive gulf between rich and poor and to criticize the unfeeling self-interest of the middle-upper classes"iii. From a Structuralist outlook using binary opposites, Dickens highlights the battle between utilitarianism and

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

    When on their daily walk Offred and Ofglen, "stop, together as if on signal, and stand and look at the bodies. It doesn't matter if we look. We're supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the Wall.

  1. The Handmaid's Tale. Chapter 10 - Textual Analysis.

    With progression Offred tells the reader how her new life has now become that of the norm. From what had once been clear resistance; refusing to register her room as her own to 'Even this is as usual, now'. She has become well accustomed to her new environment and it has now become her second nature.

  2. "The Handmaids Tale" By Margaret Atwood, "The importance of being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde ...

    In both "The Handmaids Tale" and "The Importance of being Earnest" it is only the female characters that use imperatives, the only high status male is the Commander who is never shown giving orders, it is his Wife who gives them for him, for what he wants without him telling

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

    It was constantly being menaced. In Dracula, the castle was the home of the vampire, and where all the horrible things happened to Jonathan Harker. The castle is constantly represented as being evil and the locale of evil happenings or evil people.

  2. All around us we see evidence of the way in which belief is institutionalised ...

    Behold my maid Bilhah. She shall bear upon my knees that I may also have children by her.' The Commander reads numerous sections from the book of Genesis and also an extract from Zechariah. Much like the censored television broadcasts the Commander is limiting the truth.

  1. What specific aspects of society do you think Atwood comments on in The Handmaid's ...

    The colour red indicates that they are fertile and menstrual. However, red is also the colour of blood, death and violence, which is therefore closely associated with women in this male-dominated ultraconservative government. One aspect that Atwood explores in her critique is religion.

  2. What do you find interesting about the ways in which Margaret Atwood presents relationships ...

    The wall being an exhibition of those who had been executed by the state, the crimes vary from religious non-conformity to acts of homosexuality. Gilead is also presented as deeply hypocritical. It dictates that biblical law is state law, and that the bible is to be read literally, but deviates from the bible in it policy.

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