Essays on The Handmaid’s Tale

Analysis of the Two Novels “Handmaids Tale” and “Brave New World”
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In the handmaids tale the government of Gilead changes the handmaids names, in the hope that they will be able to change their identities and get the people to forget everything about their former selves and life’s such as their life partners, children and parents causing the people to then start losing their sense of individuality becoming more robot like rather than humans focusing solely on their given tasks of being vessels for procreation. However, many people including the protagonist…...
Brave New WorldThe Handmaid’s Tale
Dystopian Literature: Is Language a Powerful Weapon
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Language is defined as ‘a system of communication by speaking, writing, or making signs in a way that can be understood… a particular type of expression’. The reliance on this complex is immense: one is incapable of envisaging a world in the absence of it. Throughout the years, history has demonstrated manipulation is one of the most powerful weapons the world possesses. From deceiving propaganda to censorship - both past and present - people are constantly misled to believe and…...
1984Fahrenheit 451LanguageLiteratureThe Handmaid’s Tale
George Orwell’s and Margaret Atwood’s Visions of Future Societies
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Margaret Attwood's ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ is a dystopian novel published in 1985. It is set in New England in the future where the handmaids are forced to produce babies for the Commanders and their wives to raise. George Orwell’s ‘1984’ is also a dystopian novel originally published in 1949. In this novel, citizens are taught to love and obey their leader, also known as ‘Big Brother’ who watches and controls everything to the extent that not even their thoughts are safe.…...
1984Dystopian SocietyThe Handmaid’s Tale
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The Handmaids Tale: A Feminist Dystopia
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As a reader, it's our job to know the author's purpose, Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid's Tale” may be a dystopian novel that was published in 1985; during the backlash against the progress of second-wave feminism. To people that don’t know what the second- wave feminism period was, it had been the women's movement of the 1960s and 70s during which women started breaking the ideals of where a lady stands. Margaret Atwood used this point to make a dystopian…...
DystopiaDystopian SocietyFeminismMargaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s TaleV For Vendetta
The Role of Fear in The Handmaid’s Tale
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Fear is ever-present in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The republic of Gilead uses fear to force the citizens of Gilead to be obedient. Each citizen gets a label that specifies what their role is, the rules they must follow, and what they have to do in order to remain a part of their society. If they fail to follow these rules or fulfill these roles, the result can be alienation from society or being brutally murdered or tortured. All the women in…...
FearHound of the BaskervillesMenstrual CycleThe Handmaid’s Tale
Different states of paralysis in The Handmaid’s Tale
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In The Handmaid's Tale, a state of paralysis results from the fear that consumes both the individual and society. How does Atwood explore this paralysis in her dystopia? Different states of paralysis are explored within Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale. Through the paralysis of emotions, time, knowledge and women's identity the reader gains a broader understanding of dystopic fiction and the techniques employed to create the totalitarian society portrayed in Atwood's eloquently written novel. The empathy and connection with…...
Margaret AtwoodStateThe Handmaid’s Tale
“The Handmaids Tale”: emphasis on the domination of women
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Introduction In Margaret Atwoods novel, "The Handmaids Tale", the birth rate in the United States had dropped so low that extremists decided to take matters into their own hands by killing off the government, taking over themselves, and reducing the womens role in society to that of a silent birthing machine. One handmaid describes what happened and how it came about as she, too, is forced to comply with the new order. Before the new order, known as the Sons…...
ChildThe Handmaid’s TaleWomen
The Handmaids Tale Book English Literature Essay
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I think this is what God must look like: an egg. The life of the Moon may non be on the surface, but indoors. The egg is glowing now, as if it had an energy of its ain. To look at the egg gives me intense pleasance. ( Atwood, 137 )Tropology ( Symbolism ) : The word `` egg '' is used to symbolize the eggs nowadays in females for reproduction.By giving an insightful description of an egg, Offred reveals…...
LiteratureMaestroThe Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaids tale vs 1984
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It was first picked up by French feminists and can be witnessed here in 'The Handmaids Tale'. "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 with its translucent wrapping. " This passage is ecrtiture feminine as it celebrates the body with references to the womb 'central' and 'pear'. In this novel, the womb is the focus of the body. Orwell conveys resistance through…...
1984The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaids Tale
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Everything we know about Gilead, we find out from a handmaid named Offred. The story was written to represent the future, but is now the past so is the historical present. Al the information we find out is released to us very slowly. The republic of Gilead is now under a dictatorship like totalitarian rule, which is highly patririarchal. The book is set out to be a fictive autobiography, and is written in a non-chronological order. This is to confuse…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale: Aunts Characters
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Comment on the portrayal of the Aunts in 'The Handmaid's Tale', their role in Gilead and the attitude of the narrator towards them. In the hierarchical society of Gilead, each woman is given an arbitrary classification, to which she has been brainwashed to obey. The Aunts are the indoctrinators of the system, who perhaps play one of the most crucial roles in the novel, training and brainwashing the Handmaids to fulfil their duties. The Aunts train from the 'Red Centre'.…...
Bartleby The ScrivenerCharacterModestyThe Handmaid’s Tale
Themes in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
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Resistance narrative is a story about an individual who is resisting showing that they do not agree with a social or political view. In this novels case we have Offred who is trying to resist the tyrannical society she is in. This is a recurring theme in "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood as we see Offred battle to survive and cope in an oppressive society where she is the victim. Resistance is used by many different people and for…...
Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
How does Margret Atwood use language as a tool of oppression in the novel ‘the Handmaid’s Tale’?
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Language is an extremely powerful factor in our culture and society. It can be a key into our community and as a form of communication to our peers and acquaintances. However in Margret Atwood's novel 'The Handmaid's Tale' we see a society which has no equal communication, let alone any equality in gender or a consensus of democracy. Atwood has created an oppressed society which displays corporal and capital punishment as a norm to its citizens who are kept alike…...
NovelsOppressionThe Handmaid’s Tale
‘Handmaid’s Tale’
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The chapters in the Handmaids Tale are named after an event or a time that is relevant to Offreds situation as the story progresses. The sections called 'Night' are very important chapters in the novel because this signifies the time when Offred is alone and silent remembering her vivid memories of her past. It is only at night that Offred chooses to remember her past because she is by herself, quiet and in her own personal territory. She feels that…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
How does the Handmaids Tale address the issues of social examination?
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The Handmaids Tale is a social examination told by one women trapped in a theocratic community. Offred dissects the Gileadien society through language and structure, which is parallel to her expression of self-identification and the wholes in her society with reference to past cultures. Gilead is a collection of past communities fused together to create a repressive dystopia analysed by Offred and is almost a warning to future societies. Aspects of Nazi Germany and Iran feature in the way Gileadien…...
ExaminationThe Handmaid’s Tale
The Opening of The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
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The first four chapters act as an effective and appropriate introduction to the Handmaid's Tale. Throughout the first four chapters, Atwood uses several techniques, and also the creative anti-chronological feature of the novel to the engage the interest of the reader. Chapter 1 immediately sets up the time scale of the novel, within the first sense Atwood cleverly employs the past tense, 'We slept in what had once been the gymnasium', the interesting combination of the past tense and a…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
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As a fictive autobiography, Atwood looks at the life of a woman in a dystopian setting, living amongst a male dominated environment, that of Gilead. The main protagonist is presented as first person narrator and offers a subjective yet often subversive view of her surroundings and life. Atwood has evidently chosen this narrative strategy to build a personal relationship between Offred and the reader. As Offred unfolds her descriptions, with perpetual attention to clarity and detail, the reader is willing…...
Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
Control, submission and rebellion in the novels The Handmaids Tale, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Hunger Games and the film V for Vendetta
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Control, submission and rebellion. To control is to take over, to submit is to conform with orders and to rebel is to fight back to the people in control. These are a few of the most important themes featured in the novels The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the film V for Vendetta directed by James McTeigue. This report will explore issues such as how the…...
FilmNovelsRebellionThe Handmaid’s TaleV For Vendetta
Message of Atwood’s Novel The Handmaid’s Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale covers many topics and through Offred's discussion of events we see how Gilead has warped bible messages, torn apart families and condones legalized rape. The democratic society she once took for granted has been exchanged for a strict patriarchal fundamentalist dystopia, leaving her as nothing more than a "cloud congealed around a central object" the object of course being womb. I think that considering the depth in which Atwood explores the relating issues it would be impossible…...
CultureNovelsThe Handmaid’s Tale
Ending of Atwood’s Novel The Handmaid’s Tale
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The ending of The Handmaid's Tale, although is not a satisfactory ending for the reader, suits the novel very well. Its ambiguity follows the same ambiguous themes which we have already seen permeate the whole text. Atwood uses the last sentence of the text "the darkness within; or else the light" deliberately, to continue with the ambiguity, and to act as a device to not actually end the novel, but to keep the reader guessing. The "darkness" and the "light"…...
NovelsThe Handmaid’s Tale
Demonstration of Power in Margret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
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Introduction In the nineteenth century, Lord Acton remarked that: 'Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel originally published in 1985. It artistically demonstrates the existence and manipulation of power. This is the main point of this work and we can see it in every aspect of the novel. We see how people use and misuse power in order to gain their objectives. This work could be seen as an…...
PowerThe Handmaid’s Tale
‘The Handmaids’s Tale’
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The brief extract given from 'The Handmaids's Tale', manifests the absence of freedom given to them women. The writer uses her stream of consciousness through the first person narrative to depict this atmosphere. The writer begins the theme of imprisonment, through the description of the objects and the setting in the room. She uses rather limited descriptive language to create an apparently passive tone. The narrator seems to list or catalog items in an unemotional manner, as if nothing has…...
ConsciousnessPhilosophyThe Handmaid’s Tale
Discourse and Oppression in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
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Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Story picture of a (like a terrible, scary world) (community of people/all good people in the world) named the Republic of Gilead, where a bunch of religion-driven (people who strongly believe in a powerful central government) take complete control and resort to (dishonest and wrong) means to get what they want. In order to increase the number of the white population, new laws are set which take away from the women in Gilead, of their rights…...
OppressionThe Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Analysis
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In the novel The Handmaid's Tale written by Margaret Atwood, she uses her characters and their journey 's throughout the narrative to depict controversies of a woman's role in society which she has previously encountered. The story consists of a dystopian society called Gilead that is made up of people with specific functions and requirements they must execute, or else, will be faced with brutal consequences. Atwood explores the role of women within Gilead as a way to criticize a…...
FeminismGender EqualitySense And SensibilitySocial IssuesThe Handmaid’s TaleWomen
Gileadean regime ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
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Explore the way in which Margaret Atwood presents Moira 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Refer closely to any literary and linguistic approaches where necessary. Within 'The Handmaid's Tale' Atwood presents us with many characters that are emotionally weak; Janine, Offred and even the Commander residing in the higher echelons of society all possess a deprivation of spirit brought about by the oppressive and restrictive nature of the Gileadean regime. In contrast to this we are presented with Moira and through her Atwood…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale
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The novel The Handmaid's Tale written by Margret Atwood is about how the government chose to control the way the community was run and control the lives of men and women. The novel tells the story from the perspective of a middle-aged woman named Offred who questions society's accepted beliefs and conventions. Offred is a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead who is constantly questioning the government beliefs and rules. Her character pushes the limits set out by the government.…...
MoonlightThe Handmaid’s Tale
Oppressed Rights by the Oppressive Regime in Margaret Atwood’s the Handmaid’s Tale
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Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale delves well into the horrid nature of extreme control and immoral limitations in defining the corrupt theocratic government at large, and more specifically the effect this control has on the society’s women. In an age in which a newly emerged and merciless governmental system called the Republic of Gilead has “put life back to the middle ages,” sparked by a widespread panic of infertility, personal freedom and individuality have become unimaginably reduced (Genny 1). Handmaids…...
RightsThe Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale
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The motif of time is very evident in this section. Time, something are never ever thought much of before her brand-new life, is now an item she thinks of often. "There's time to spare. This is among the important things I wasn't gotten ready for-- the quantity of unfilled time," (Atwood 69). "In the afternoons we lay o our beds for an hour in the gymnasium ... they were giving us a possibility to get used to blank time," (70…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
Feminism in the Handmaid’s Tale
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Some would argue that Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that pulls its ideas and beliefs about women and their place in society from the Bible. But based upon the novel, the Bible, and some writings by Christian writers, that is true, but highly skewed. Let’s begin by taking a look at how society is setup in The Handmaid’s Tale so we can have a clear understanding where the author is coming from. The whole premise is that…...
FeminismReligionThe Handmaid’s Tale
The Importance of Names in Frankenstein and the Handmaid’s Tale
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Names are a very important thing that most people are given shortly after birth. A name is “the word or words that a person, thing or place is known by” (Cambridge Online Dictionary (2011), Retrieved November 6th 2012). Names are given to identify an individual in replace of calling someone “it”, a term used to refer to something inanimate or without a name. A name shows that someone loves us enough to name us; to think about it with care…...
FrankensteinThe Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
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Metaphorical language was utilized by Margaret Atwood, through the personality of Offred, to illustrate The Handmaid's Tale. Metaphorical Language consists of similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, embellishment and idioms. First, figurative language can be utilized to describe different settings. 1. Offred's experience in the evening in her bed room "The heat at night is worse than the heat in daytime. Even with the fan on, absolutely nothing moves, and the walls save up heat, offer it out like an utilized…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale: Role of Handmaids
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“Something could be exchanged… we still had our bodies. ” (Chapter 1) How are the women in The Handmaid’s Tale both oppressed and the oppressors? Atwood’s novel portrays strong feminist ideas throughout the tale, suggesting how women could become oppressed in the future. The Giledean state runs its laws and regulations based on extreme biblical views. In the bible Rachel couldn’t bare Jacob children, so she made her maid conceive children with Jacob this concept of the bible is portrayed…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
Handmaid’s Tale Passage Analysis
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The Distinction of Classes and Marxism in The Handmaids Tale Marxism, in broad terms, is a theory of social change based on sympathy for the working class. The Marxist literary theory involves looking at a class struggle (working vs. ruling). In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale a class struggle is seen between the ruling class and everyone else in the Republic of Gilead. This text can be analyzed through the lens of Marxist literary theory at many points and…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
Gender and Power in the Handmaids Tale
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Topic Question: What understandings of the issue of gender and power are gained from characterization of men and women constructed in the text studied?The notion of power is a fundamental building block of any ancient, modern or futuristic society. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is an example of the distribution of power across a futuristic society, specifically a patriarchal dystopia. The power which women hold in this society is minimal compared to that held by men, but this is…...
GenderPowerThe Handmaid’s Tale
Themes in the novel ‘The Handmaids Tale’
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Gilead takes environmental control to an extreme, and controls almost all aspects of it's inhabitant's lives. The handmaids are controlled within society by means of the self worth lowering ignorance, de-humanizing abasement, and the fear instilled by strict consequences to illegal actions. 'Control' is a major theme throughout the novel - whether it be by the regimentation of life, the strict communication laws or the way in which people are stripped of their individuality. The whole environment in Gilead is…...
NovelsThe Handmaid’s Tale
‘The handmaids Tale’ and ‘1894’
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Both the novels '1984' and 'The Handmaids Tale' provide warnings of how each author sees certain problems in society leading to dystopian states. Dystopian genres exist in both novels, but arise for different reasons. Resulting from Atwood's concerns about political groups and aspects of feminism; 'The Handmaids Tale' illustrates how declining birth rates could lead to a state where women are forced into bearing children. In contrast, '1984' depicts a terror state where poverty is rife and tyrannical leaders force…...
The Handmaid’s Tale
English – comparing 1984 & The Handmaid’s Tale
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In The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood puts across the sense of mystery, things that were once there but are no more. She talks about ‘the pungent smell of sweat, shot through with the sweet smell of chewing gum and perfume’ which came from the girls who once watched the basketball matches that were ‘formally played there’. In the first section of this book we get the feeling that the character is quite lost, lost in what once was and not…...
1984EnglishPerfumeThe Handmaid’s Tale
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FAQ about The Handmaid’s Tale

How does Margret Atwood use language as a tool of oppression in the novel ‘the Handmaid’s Tale’?
...Society is meant to be a community, but Gilead is a concentration camp. Language displays the emotions these women feel and uses words like 'isolation', 'forlorn', palimpsest'. Gilead has no equality but a ladder of status and women are to live in a ...
How does the Handmaids Tale address the issues of social examination?
...Her memories will always be there and rebellion will always live in certain members of society, the brothel in which Moira worked was a form of revolt as was the very account of Offred's tales. These rays of hope shine through the totalitarian, dysto...

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