Gilead usually takes environmental control to an severe, and settings almost all areas of it’s inhabitant’s lives. The handmaids happen to be controlled within just society through the home worth reducing ignorance, de-humanizing abasement, plus the fear instilled by stringent consequences to illegal activities.

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‘Control’ is known as a major motif throughout the book ” whether it be by the regimentation of lifestyle, the rigid communication laws and regulations or the way in which people are removed of their style. The whole environment in Gilead is thoroughly monitored and observed to guarantee the ‘smooth’ jogging of contemporary society.

Suicides appear to be a major threat to world as they serve as an ‘escape route’ from the oppressive lifestyle ” for that reason precautions are taken to make certain that suicide by no means becomes an option. Offred claims that ‘they’ve removed whatever you could tie up a string to’ to prevent hangings there’s also a mention that there is ‘no glass’ in picture frames.

Shavers and any other potentially harmful objects have already been removed to make sure that an need to ‘escape’ is never satisfied.

These kinds of arrangements, although seemingly severe, were seen as required after a large number of handmaids required their own lives after poor adaptation towards the new routine. Handmaids aren’t permitted to leave their particular ‘home’ aside from their daily walks and the shopping trips. During these expeditions the handmaids must stroll inside ‘twos’ ” with a reflect image of themselves. It is during these walks that we notice how surveillance is utilized as another form of control.

It really is believed that anybody surviving in Gilead might have no reasonable need to keep the state ” unless they may be trying to break free. The borders are consequently heavily safeguarded with gun- wielding security guards, there is also the added precaution of a ‘chain website link fence topped with barbed wire’ to help ensure that literally escaping becomes practically impossible. To get permitted in the centre of Gilead, an identification pass is needed which can be checked at designated ‘barriers’ ” only when you are permitted might you enter the town center. Failure to produce the go quickly and efficiently can lead to the injury or loss of life of a person, as protections often blunder people looking for their goes by as people searching for a weapon. Handmaids can also be recognized by a ‘small tattoo’ on the ankle showing ‘a 4 digit quantity and a great eye ” a passport’.

Gilead’s govt has taken away “freedom to and presented “freedom from(Atwood, 33) to the handmaids. They regulate what they can and cannot know, forcing all of them into lack of knowledge, and call that freedom. Reading has been forbidden, and “even the names of shops had been too much attraction, [and are] known by way of a signs alone(33). The only expression that Offred is given to check out is “FAITH in sq print(75) over a small cushion in her room. Possibly looking at this kind of she miracles, “If [she] were captured, would it count number? (75). They are so used to not being able to examine, that possibly at the sight of words and phrases and letters, they take preventative measure, and fear consequence. It absolutely was at the crimson center that the handmaids happen to be first driven full of the brainwashing divulgación that makes these people think in this manner, “Once weekly [they] acquired movies(151), “old porno videos from the seventies and eighties(152).

These videos are used to make sure they are hate the role women had enjoyed “in the days of anarchy(33), and turn them against all their past. They can be successful with this, and make women think that “[they] happen to be containers, it is only the inside of [their] physiques that count(124). Handmaids happen to be “kept upon some kind of supplement or medication, that [was] put in the food(91), so that “after a time [the unordinary] will become ordinary(45), and they will have conformed for the Gileadian way of living. Freedom of speech is taken away. They may be only in order to speak at certain times with “accepted hey there [and responses](25) that have been created for them. In addition , people are unable to sing tunes “in public anymore(71), specifically ones that “use words and phrases like totally free, they are regarded as too dangerous(71). It is during these manners that the government of Gilead uses ignorance to control the handmaids and effectively forces these to “not want things that they can’t have(151).

On the surface, The Handmaid’s Experience appears to be feminist in nature. The point-of-view character and narrator is actually a woman and therefore we see the world through a women’s eyes. Discover much more for the story than that, even though. Atwood does not show us the world. She reveals us a newly produced world by which women lack the freedoms that they at present take for granted. This dystopian society is completely manipulated by males. Of course , the men have help from the Aunts, a split team of brainwashers operating the reeducation centers and teach the handmaids the right way to be slaves. These personas really

don’t speak well intended for womankind for 2 reasons.

Firstly, it’s difficult to tell who their real life equal is, assuming that this new is supposed to be considered a satire. That they clearly keep some resemblance to the old-fashioned, Bible-thumping, older maids that love the aged way of carrying out things and constantly rally for a go back to family beliefs. The aunts constantly quotation the Scriptures and motivate to ladies to be genteel and unmasculine. These girls are in many ways the opposite of the feminist. In other methods though, they fall proper in line with feminist dogma. Their constant derailment of males and their unhealthy, hate-filled demeanors make them nearly caricatures of hard-line feminists. In fact , they fit quite effectively into the stereotypical way that that anti-feminist men generally portray feminists, as bitchy, man-hating lesbians.

Another function of the aunts in the book should be to undermine the sense of female companionship shown other areas in the book. When claiming to hate men, the aunts side with the boys, pushing their very own agenda on the handmaids and treating these people as much just like objects since the men inside the story do. Another group who generally seems to do this is definitely the wives, most notably, Serena Happiness. Instead of siding with the handmaids in their struggle against a male-dominated contemporary society, the wives treat these little to no value and consistently show small jealousy towards them. Actually most or perhaps all of the women in The Handmaid’s Tale are portrayed this way.

While the handmaids themselves show solidarity about some situations, they too exhibit petty envy and backbiting in other moments in the book. Additionally, they take part in the most shocking field in the book. The handmaids copy and tear a young guy to shreds like elephants released on the Christians within a Roman coliseum. Instead of joining together to fight back against oppression, the only time they seem to be almost completely specific is in that one display of blood lust. Each group and even each individual woman inside the novel has her personal agenda and no one can be trusted. Definitely, this is not the image of women which the feminists would want to portray.

Feminists themselves are most clearly displayed in the book by the heroes of Moira and Offred’s mother. The narrator’s mother provides a photo of the 60’s era could libber while Moira signifies a modern, lesbian feminist. Initially, these heroes seem to be the strongest with the novel and portray feminism in a complementary light. Offred speaks extremely of her mother. The girl tells of her mother’s rallies and pickets, but as well shows her softer area. Although under no circumstances married their self, Offred’s mother is able to recognize Luke and trade barbs with him without acquiring offense. The lady seems to have brought up Offred very well and by every accounts appears to be caring and nurturing. The smoothness of Moira has more of an advantage. She’s challenging, determined, and seemingly while capable every man. Once she arrives at the center, the girl quickly commences defying the aunts by simply conversing with Offred in the restroom. Eventually, the lady escapes the center using a item of a toilet to kidnap a great aunt after which stealing the aunt’s clothes for a cover. With this kind of, Offred is left thinking what is becoming of Moira, hoping that somehow your woman managed to break free into another country or at least strike some good blow against their captors.

It’s certainly not until late in the new that the reader finally finds out what became of Moira. First, Atwood lets you in upon where Offred’s mother ended up being. Offred finds out that her mother was labeled a great unwoman and watches with sadness because the former significant cleans up toxic squander, a cracked, dying woman. Moira provides a somewhat fewer gruesome closing, but one which is no significantly less tragic. Offred meets up with her at a top secret club pertaining to high-ranking officials. Moira has changed into a prostitute, dressed up in a awkward mock Hughs playboy bunny outfit and sleeping with decrepit old men in exchange for a little slice of freedom in cigarettes and lesbian sex with her fellow whores. The happy, self-assured feminist has become the antithesis of all your woman once stood for. By recounting these types of fictional incidents and several others in close succession, Atwood systematically damages all of the desires of the feminine sex in the novel. The two strongest female characters fail under the pressure of the prominent males. In the event that these two 3rd party women can’t stand strong against oppression, what hope truly does Atwood leave for anyone otherwise? Obviously, the novel hinges on Offred. The Handmaids Experience is informed through her eyes and she is the most developed of all characters in it.

Atwood allows you to go inside the mind of your woman and see just what thoughts populate her existence. Offred represents a kind of everywoman within a lot of techniques. She’s certainly not extremely solid or self-confident, but she’s not extremely weak possibly. Atwood seems to be saying in the novel that Offred is usually reacting similar to the way as any female would to the situations the girl encounters. Sadly for the feminist, these types of reactions not necessarily always excellent. Throughout the book, Offred echoes of her love pertaining to Luke along with how your woman misses him. While your woman may have been overly dependent on him during their matrimony, not many feminists could protest about her missing her husband. Really her connections with the additional men in the novel, which have been much more incriminating.

About half way through the book, Offred commences a different sort of relationship with her leader, the man who owns her. Your woman begins to see him in the office. Their particular meetings happen to be almost like schedules, and Offred lets her guard down slightly. The commander turns into a sort of fatherly figure for her. The girl uses him and lets him use her, although also starts to develop a minor affection pertaining to him. Throughout the commander, your woman meets Nick, a young protect assigned for the house. Offred manages to begin seeing him regularly as well. Nick and Offred have sex, which complies with her sexual desire, but there is much more to their relationship than sex. Offred starts to tell Nick points.

She foretells him all day each night they are together when he only lies close to her and listens. Like Luke and, to some extent, the commander ahead of him, Computer chip makes Offred feel secure and protected. The lady clings to Nick and lets him fill the void that Luke is unable to fill. Atwood could have chosen to create Offred as persistent being, but instead your woman chose to shape her into a woman who needs guys. On her own, Offred seems lost, although once this lady has that solid male physique to hold her and tell her that almost everything will be okay, she is much more content. One could be hard hard pressed to find a feminist that would confess to these kinds of utter dependence on the opposite love-making.

Though many feminists wish to claim Atwood as one of their own, her articles are ultimately quite different than regarding the simply feminist freelance writers. It’s clear that Atwood intentionally arranged herself aside from these freelance writers with The Handmaid’s Tale. At times, she appears to disagree with them totally, such as when she shows pornography in a favorable fashion. At other times, the lady portrays feminists themselves while the effective women they would like to be seen since, but it can be with complete disclosure with their human inadequacy. Atwood hardly ever bashes feminism. Instead, she shows both sides of it. Just like everything else in the novel, feminism is proven to have negative and positive elements. Even in Atwood’s brave new world, there is no black and white.

The language of “protection of women could slide from a requirement for more freedom into a retreat from liberty, to a kind of neo-Victorianism. In the end, it was the necessity to protect “good women from sex that justified all manner of repression inside the 19th 100 years, including limiting them to the property, barring all of them from playing the arts, and voting. Modern-day Islamic ladies sometimes argue that assuming the veil and traditional all-enveloping clothing is aimed at dealing with sexual harassment and sexual objectification. The language is usually feminist, however the result can be deeply patriarchal, as in this kind of novel.

Genesis 30: 1-3 is one of several passages that will make clear that in patriarchal Hebrew instances it was properly legitimate for a man to acquire sex and even beget children by his servants (slaves), particularly if his wife was infertile. It can be unknown just how widespread was your custom explained here, of having the infertile wife accept the suitable for farming maidservant as she gave birth to symbolize that the baby is officially hers. Atwood extrapolates outrageously from this point, as is typical of dystopian writers: it really is highly improbable that the puritanical religious correct would ever before adopt the sexual practices depicted with this novel; although she is aiming to argue that patriarchal traditions which usually value women only while fertility objects can be as demeaning as contemporary customs which in turn value these people as sex objects. She makes crystal clear that this can be described as reductio advertisement absurdum, a theoretical physical exercise designed to stimulate thought about interpersonal issues rather than a realistic face of a possible future


Atwood, Maggie Eleanor. The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: Arbitrary House Incorporation, 1998.


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