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

    I can only speculate that this represents the stolen freedom of the man, and the life which was taken from him. All through this novel we see that the color red is a major theme and is vital in emphasizing freedom or the lack of it.

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

    (Atwood 145) Citizens in "The Wars" and in "The Handmaid's Tale" not only take part in ceremonies, which are designed to make them feel satisfied with the society in which they live, but are lied to by the government. Perhaps the most poignant criticism of the societies in these two novels is the violation of the principals and mores of modern society.

  2. Compare and contrast their representation of the different social and cultural forces which contribute ...

    of the regime; the recognition of denial symbolises the lack of reality of her image in this regime. Binary opposites compare repression within both novels; such as the opposites of Man versus God. The 'Handmaid's Tale' shows how 'man's' world had brought about a lifestyle of pollution, abortion and a

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

    The use of the word 'pink' to describe his face immediately after using 'Children of Ham' for black people makes the boundary all the more apparent.

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

    I am never wrong.' Which is very rude and shows her arrogance and has the subtext of hurrying the conversation to the subject of marriage before her Mother comes back into the room which breaks the politeness principle, and is also broken by Lady Bracknell when she is interviewing Jack and also by Serena

  1. 19th Century short stories - womens rights

    However, she is very accepting of this, which was often the general feeling of women at the time. The narrator belittles herself several more times throughout the story "I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already".

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

    She describes the air as 'stagnant', creating an atmosphere of suffocation and claustrophobia. Perhaps there is irony here; Gilead is a regime that suffocates those whom it rules. Offred tells the reader that she'd 'like to be able to open the window as wide as it could go'.

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