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The Handmaids Tale: A Feminist Dystopia

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 novel, where the conservative counter-movement gains complete control over every part of society, making a totalitarian government demolishing everything that women had fought for, making women completely submissive to men.

So what’s a Dystopia and a Utopia? To further understand the aim of “The Handmaid’s Tale” it’s also necessary to know what sort of society Atwood was trying to create. A Utopian society is imagined as a perfect place. On the other hand, we’ve got a dystopia, this is often also an imagined society built on a warning which will set them on a path of destruction.

I feel that it was necessary for Margaret Atwood to make a dystopia, to let the message of the book ring until the end of time.

To create this Dystopia, Margaret Atwood limited herself to events that had already happened in our history. “The Handmaid’s Tale” descends from the history of Cambridge Massachusetts. In colonial times Cambridge was ruled by the Puritans (a member of a gaggle of English Protestants of the late 16th and 17th centuries who regarded the Reformation of the Church of England under Elizabeth as incomplete and sought to simplify and regulate sorts of worship) the Republic of Gilead is representative towards the strict rules imposed in Cambridge — Modest clothing, the banishment of protesters, and control or rule of each aspect of life.

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While she recreates a way more interesting version of Colonel Cambridge it’s also important to know the role of Offred, with the character Offred, Margaret Atwood is in a position to make a “double narrative”. Throughout the book, Offred longs for her old life, where she had a life, a job, a husband a child, even a best friend until all was taken by the “Sons of Jacob” or the fundamentalist group, but sooner or later this power that the “Sons of Jacob” have turns into a stronger demand, where they want to control the language — by allowing only certain books, that women aren’t even allowed. The “Sons of Jacob” control the thought and behavior by putting people to watch what people are doing. But Offered adds identity throughout the way that she thinks, by remembering who she once was, hinting that Offred is resistant.

Resistance NOUN -the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.

Offered HUMAN- a person who dares to break through society, to refuse the political, psychological, and sex roles.

When all is said and done Margaret Atwood; by limiting occurrences to events that had already occurred in our own history, Atwood emphasizes the drama and intensity of the story. If these events already happened, they may happen once more – maybe even with consequences rivaling those within the book. It’s arduous to argue with history, as hostile speculative events that appear far-fetched and unlikely. Certainly “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a book with the problem of women’s rights, the problems with pleasing others, how power can be used unfairly. Making this disturbing future path an endless ringing message.

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The Handmaids Tale: A Feminist Dystopia. (2020, Nov 23). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-handmaids-tale-a-feminist-dystopia-essay

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