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Handmaid S Tale Theme Essay Grade

The Theme Of Power And Control As Demonstrated Through The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

It is necessary for the government to impose a certain amount of power and control on its citizens in order for a society to function properly. However, too much power and control in a society eliminates the freedom of the residents, forbidding them to live an ordinary life. In the dystopic futuristic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood demonstrates the theme of power and control through an oppressive society called the Republic of Gilead. The government establishes power and control through the use of the Wall, military control, the Salvaging, and the Particicution. The Aunts indoctrinate the Handmaids and control them by using fear and intimidation. The Patriarchal society allows the Commanders to hold immense power over the citizens, while the Commander's Wives hold the power in the household. Generally, the Handmaids do not hold very much power because they are of a lower class in the Patriarchal society. The Republic of Gilead institutes power and control in society, therefore forcing its residents into submission and leaving them completely helpless in a totalitarian regime.

The dead bodies of those who have committed acts against the government hang on a structure called the Wall. The Wall is a method to implement fear on the citizens. Offred describes the purpose of the Wall when she states, "We stop, together as if on signal and stand and look at the bodies. It doesn't matter if we look. We're supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the Wall. Sometimes they'll be there for days, until there's a new batch, so as many people as possible will have the chance to see them" (Atwood 40). The Wall is a symbol of sin and it creates fear and force in the Republic of Gilead. It is warning to the citizens of the punishment for disobeying the rules. The people that hang on the Wall "have committed atrocities and must be made into examples, for the rest" (Atwood 42). Therefore, when the citizens see the punishment for violating the government's rules, they are persuaded to obey the government's commands because they are frightened and intimidated.

The government also exerts power and control on the inhabitants of Gilead with the use of military control. The military control includes guards called Angels that are "objects of fear" (Atwood 4) to the Handmaids. The Handmaids are aware that the Angels are constantly guarding the buildings, so they try their best to abide by the rules to avoid getting caught by them. The government also has spies, or secret police called the Eyes. These agents patrol the streets and catch...

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Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

932 words - 4 pages Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Offred recounts the story of her life and that of others in Gilead, but she does not do so alone. The symbolic meanings found in the dress code of the women, the names/titles of characters, the absence of the mirror, and the smell and hunger imagery aid her in telling of the repugnant conditions in the Republic of Gilead. The...

Heros in Gilgamesh by David Ferry and Offred The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

961 words - 4 pages What is a hero? In mythology and legend, a hero, is often of godly ancestry, who is gifted with great courage and strength, distinguished for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Or, a hero can be a person noted for feats of courage, mainly one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Finally, a hero can simply be the main character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. There are many different types of heroes. This paper...

The Hope and Hopelessness of Moira: "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood: Argumentative essay: Moira as a symbolic character of hope to the main character.

768 words - 3 pages Independence is what teenagers strive for while going through adolescence. Once achieved, this right of passage is one of the most difficult to surrender. Such strong defiance and independence is shown in Margaret Atwood's, "

The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

793 words - 3 pages The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The commander can be seen as a man torn between two worlds, he was one of the founders of Gilead yet still enjoys and yearns for the pleasures of the old society he managed to break. It can be seen as ' he has made his bed and now he must sleep in it'. The commander is cool and collected on the surface but underneath he is bitter and corrupted...

Group Analysis of the Imagery, Symbolism, Figurative Language, Ironic Devices and more for "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

2709 words - 11 pages Imagery: Throughout the novel, "The Handmaid's Tale", Margaret Atwood presents an astonishing amount of vivid imagery and description that makes up the style and flow of the novel. Perhaps the first images present in the novel are that of light and dark. Listed in the table of contents, the reader can see that nearly every other...

The Handmaid's Tale: A Reflection of the Past and Warnings for Future Generations Author: Margaret Atwood

6272 words - 25 pages Throughout history women have always been seen as inferior to men; they are stereotyped to be weaker, slower, and less intelligent. However, over time, women have fought for their rights, for their turn to speak, and for an equal society where landing a job is based on your resume and not your sex. Nowadays, women are seen as equals - doing what men can do, achieving what every man thought women could not, and some even surpassing men by...

1984, by George Orwell, The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 show fear as a way individuals dominate over other populace

2196 words - 9 pages Essay"Fear is a tool by which a dictator can seemingly become your friend" (Dr. Phil). This quotation signifies the advantage gained by dictators that control through fear. They are able to maintain the pretense of being a friend to those in fear because those in fear crave protection. Those in control can provide it. In the books 1984, by George Orwell and

This essay compares the treatment of women in the novel Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood), and the country Afghanistan.

743 words - 3 pages Story of Gilead: Fact or FictionIn the year 2003, many people can not comprehend the historical implications of women's rights in the United States. It has been over a generation since women's movements toward equality tore down the barriers between men and women in the United States. Few people actually remember that up until 1919, women were not even allowed to vote in an election. Many people who live in the United States, might read...

Book Report to the Class on A HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood. May want to add more about the themes and take out some of the plot description.

1071 words - 4 pages Margaret Atwood, born in Ontario in 1939, has written several books, not just The Handmaid's Tale. Her most acclaimed novels were The Edible Women, which was her first novel, and was published in 1969 to wide acclaim, and The Blind Assassin, which won Great Britain's Booker Prize for Literature in the year 2000. However, her most...

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Discuss the Gileadean concept of "Freedom to, freedom from"

1318 words - 5 pages The dystopian novel, 'The Handmaid's Tale' implies the fact that there are two types of freedom, freedom to and freedom from. It is the paradox between 1980's America and Gilead that is examined continually throughout the novel and it's the ideas of 'freedom to' being a society of broad-minded morals and 'freedom from' the more controlled, restrictive society with an imposition upon individual freedom that are most prominent. In Atwood's...

The Handmaids Tale, by Margaret Atwood

880 words - 4 pages In Margaret Atwoods ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear of one women’s posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean...

It is necessary for the government to impose a certain amount of power and control on its citizens in order for a society to function properly. However, too much power and control in a society eliminates the freedom of the residents, forbidding them to live an ordinary life. In the dystopic futuristic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood demonstrates the theme of power and control through an oppressive society called the Republic of Gilead. The government establishes power and control through the use of the Wall, military control, the Salvaging, and the Particicution. The Aunts indoctrinate the Handmaids and control them by using fear and intimidation. The Patriarchal society allows the Commanders to hold immense power over the citizens, while the Commander's Wives hold the power in the household. Generally, the Handmaids do not hold very much power because they are of a lower class in the Patriarchal society.

The Republic of Gilead institutes power and control in society, therefore forcing its residents into submission and leaving them completely helpless in a totalitarian regime.

The dead bodies of those who have committed acts against the government hang on a structure called the Wall. The Wall is a method to implement fear on the citizens. Offred describes the purpose of the Wall when she states, "We stop, together as if on signal and stand and look at the bodies. It doesn't matter if we look. We're supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the Wall. Sometimes they'll be there for days, until there's a new batch, so as many people as possible will have the chance to see them" (Atwood 40). The Wall is a symbol of sin and it creates fear and force in the Republic of Gilead. It is warning to the...


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