In this ultra conservative theocracy, woman are stripped of their past lives in which they had the freedom of choice as they became controlled by a higher power in which they lost the right or ability to live their lives free of control. The symbolism of freedom drives the novel as it transforms the society into a state of oppression for all women, especially the handmaids. In the Republic of Gilead, a revolution takes place in which women are given specific roles in the society such as handmaids, wives, econowives, martha, or aunts and these such roles become their purpose for living. The protagonist of the story is a handmaid called Offred, as she is robbed of the freedom of her name and renamed to signify her status as a possession to her commander. As a possession, handmaids lose their freedom to own their bodies in the way that they become the property of their commander and are treated as possessions to men resulting in the oppression of women as they become victims of sexual assault and violence as they are forced have sex and bear children with men that they do not love.
The Handmaid's Tale Argument For Women
The Handmaid's Tale Feminist Analysis - Words | Cram
The Handmaid's Tale Feminist Analysis
Atwood shows Gilead as an extremist state with strong religious connotations. Not only is the government oppressive, but we see the female roles support and enable the oppression of other female characters. For the most part, we found two separate opinions about The Handmaid's Tale, concerning feminism. One opinion is that it is a feminist novel, and the opposing opinion that it is not. Feminism: A doctrine advocating social, political, and economic rights for women equal to those of men as recorded in Webster's Dictionary.
You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. The second epigraph is from an essay by Jonathan Swift that tackles the issue of poor families raising multiple children. The third epigraph is an Islamic proverb.