✍️✍️✍️ Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature
These texts are particularly confronting to young audiences as it forces them to question Puritan Religion In The 17th Century incompetence prevalent in modern day society. New York Times. Along to that, the environment she lived in has changed drastically, thus significantly impacting her Economic System: The Roman Republic Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature society and people. Handmaids lived a restrictive life of confinement and as they were only granted the opportunity to leave the house to do shopping, childbearing ceremonies, and executions Good Man Is Hard To Find Salvation the women. Gilead is Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature as a complete patriarchy where all Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature power Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature killing of a king by the men Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature the society, more importance of teachers day the men Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature led and supported the uprising.
How to recognize a dystopia - Alex Gendler
Consequently, what she dreads about life has changed, allowing for contrasting ideas about a societal decline in the future. She was born Ottawa, Ontario Canada, being raised in middle class family she realized she wanted to write professionally when she was She later studied in the University of Toronto and ended up living there for a large part of her life. Despite having moved to West Berlin for a brief period in her mids. Dystopian Prophet, This debuted her fame as world-class novelist, with a disturbing yet alarmingly-near dystopian story. Upon writing this novel in her mids, Margaret Atwood was living in West Berlin, a place enduring political adversity and division with East Berlin.
Back in the 80s, West-Berlin was encircled by the Iron Curtain, at this point the Soviet Union remained firm and was not going to crumble for another 5 years. The presence of an enemy so close made it impossible to avoid the hostility occurring behind the wall. The 80s was a period of industrialization and high human population growth rate with many inequalities between classes, religions, gender and race. This speculative novel took contemporary issues and exaggerated them to give a frightening yet plausible glimpse of the future. Liminal Pages, The author does this perfectly with the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime where women have been stripped of their natural rights and are used in service of the regime.
In an age of declining birth rate, women are valued by their fertility as they are solely tasked to bear a child. That, and only that. Under the control of the Commander and his Wife, Offred is confined to very strict rules with very little action. The Handmaid women have been degraded to one thing: a child bearer. Offred may not speak as she will and can only leave the house once a month to carry out daily food errands.
The food stores are now characterized by pictures not words, as woman are not allowed to read. Things have changed drastically and Offred remembers of her past when she had husband, a daughter, her own money and most importantly access to knowledge. But that is the past, and it is all far gone now. The novel undoubtedly characterizes as a dystopia because of the decline of society Atwood presents. Guardian, Atwood exploited current vulnerabilities within the government and societal progression to show how such a power could undertake society. Many themes and aspects singled out within the novel turn out to be extrapolated contemporary issues Atwood experienced in the 80s.
The message by the author here is clear, it emphasizes that even good men may carry misogynistic attitudes. Maybe he even likes it. Instead, I am his. This ultimately brings the reader to theme of gender inequality portrayed in the book, it is noticeable in the Republic of Gilead where women are stripped of almost all their rights regardless of the various positions they may hold. Whether it is a Wife, Martha, Aunt, EconoWife, or a Handmaid, they hold little authority and are in subjugation to men.
There is also a visible critique made by the author about sexuality, as in the novel women are valued by their ovaries and conduct sexual duties in hope to get pregnant. The concept of sexual subjugation of women in the form of Ceremonies shows that the author believing that women are treated unfairly and sometimes subject to sexual activities against their will.
Indeed, Atwood likely believes that woman may sometimes feel used, which is exactly what she depicts through the Handmaids. The feminist appeal in the novel is visible through the re-incarnation of women carrying out tasks in favor of men, not only sexual but in multiple other manners as well. They would perform exhausting tasks such as: cleaning, cooking, running errands, chores, and bear children; while on the other hand, men either serve as Guard of the Republic or Commanders of houses.
Evidently this is a reinforcement of outdated stereotypes regarding genders, where Atwood predicts that society will deteriorate from nearly gender-equal in the late 20th century to how it was back in the middle ages. The Eyes can be interpreted as the under covered secret police in Republic of Gilead, it is unknown of whom they really, what they do and who works for them. Consequently, it creates a feeling of paranoia and terror. The risk of treachery and betrayal filling the air made everyone extreme careful about their approaches and whom they talked to. Offred along to the many others in the rebellious organizations needed to be wary for their own safety; they were being listened to all the time.
Atwood likely added this concept in her novel because of the lack of privacy she might have experienced in the late 20th century. With the phenomenal progress in technology surveillance cameras, auditory microphones, blood and fingerprint recognition, etc. This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can order our professional work here.
The only other role with real power granted to women in Gilead is the role of Aunt. Aunts are the women that the government has tasked to create Handmaids for the commanders. This gives the Aunts a lot of power over the women designated to become Handmaids, which also gives the Aunts an indirect line of influence over the commanders. While Atwood depicts Gilead as a patriarchy that would be terrible for women everywhere, she also makes it clear that Gilead is not some sort of haven for men. These restrictions affect all the men in the society, including the men with power such as the Commander. Eventually the very men who created these restraints went on to break their own laws by establishing brothels amongst other things. Often times people see totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and wonder to what extent do the population support this regime and if they do not support it then why do they do nothing to push the regime towards its downfall.
While see certain acts of rebellion in Gilead are depicted, such as the Mayday organization and the Underground Femaleroad, which shows that not all people accepted their new rulers, there are also people who are fully dedicated to the government such as the Aunts and some of the Handmaids. Atwood did this to show the reader that no matter how evil a government might appear to be, there will always be people who support its rule. This section of the novel is very significant because it shows that eventually all tyrannical reigns will come to an end. By showing how Gilead has become another piece of history to be discussed by a more modern society. As mentioned earlier, Atwood was influenced to write this novel after witnessing the rise of religious fundamentalists such as the Moral Majority who would often clash with the feminist movement of the time.
These religious fundamentalists would often say they were fighting to protect the traditional American family. The traditional American family refers to the traditional heteronormative patriarchy where the husband would work and be the head of the household, while the wife would stay at home to cook and care for the kids while doing as her husband asks. Gilead was created to be an extreme, but hypothetically possible, form of this patriarchy. As stated before, Gilead is a complete patriarchy where all the power is held by men, and the work is done by men, while women are forced to stay in the home. Gilead mirrors the traditional male-focused family structure on a nationwide scale. This leads to men not seeing women as fellow human beings, but degrades women down to simply being pieces of meat used for sex.
This view is exemplified in the role of the Handmaids. The Handmaids are reduced to their biological functions, and are seen only as vessels to carry the children of men Malik. Men not viewing women as the human beings they are is especially terrifying because men are the ones who unjustly hold the power in the world. Due to the fact that the patriarchy is ingrained into our society, men are typically the ones placed into power and because of this they are given the ability to assign the roles in our society. This is taken to its plausible extreme in Gilead where the men in power assign women their limited roles in society and create strict authoritarian laws which dictate what women can and cannot do.
Atwood makes each character rounded and well developed so that they are not two dimensional figures used to push her feminist agenda Malak. White feminism is a term used to describe the idea that mainstream feminism is more concerned with the issues facing middle and upper class white women than the issues facing lower class women, especially lower class women of color. While many regard the First and Second Wave of feminism as incredibly important due to the amount of freedoms they won for women, they concede that the first two waves of feminism were focused on issues that affected mostly privileged white women more so than poorer women of color.
Ultimately this led to the Third Wave of feminism that began in the late s and continued into the s. The Third Wave was initially a discussion within the feminist movement about white feminism, and it ultimately led to a focus on attempting to solve many of the issues faced by poorer non-caucasian women. Because Offred and many of the other Handmaids are white women who come from the middle-class many of the injustices in Gilead are seen through this lense, while ignoring how the religious revolution would affect a poorer working-class woman of color. Many of the women depicted in the novel are women who were able to get a college education and work well-paying jobs, while no mention is made of lower-class women who did not have the opportunity to go onto higher education.
This lack of diverse characters in the novel also brings up the issues of race that many claim Atwood ignored while writing her novel. Many accuse Atwoof of writing away the issues of race present in the United States in order to focus on the effect the revolution would have on white women. While it is subtly implied that some of the Martas are black women, which harkens back to the role of women as servants during the days of slavery, none of their races are ever explicitly described.
In the novel people of ethnic minorities, specifically blacks, are referred to as Children of Ham by the Republic of Gilead, an allusion to the Biblical Curse of Ham which was once used by Christians to justify slavery Cottle. Marthas are forced to do all of the cooking and cleaning in the houses similar to black female servants during slavery, and similar to the female house slaves the Marthas have to answer to the wife of their owner.
The Handmaids experience also has certain parallels to the experience of black female slaves, such as being forced to have sex with their masters, being forced to move against their will, being separated from their loved ones, and not being allowed to leave the house without special permission from their master. Throughout the novel Offred speaks of the fault she perceives in her mother and in Moira, who were both examples of contemporary feminist thought. Offred states several times that she believed that her mother and Moira were delusional if they believed that they could cut out of their lives entirely. Offred also criticizes Moira for believing that she can stay in her lesbian communities and hide away from men for the rest of her life.
In the novel Offred mentions how she was forced to go to a feminist rally by her mother were the feminist attendees were burning pornographc magazines, and while she was at the rally Offred refused to burn any magazines. This scene is seen as Atwood criticizing the feminist burning of pornogrpahy. Atwood criticizes the burning of pornography because she believes by burning pornogrpahy feminists are romanticizing the female body in such a way that it restores the old stereotypes that the feminists had previously fought against Greene.
Ultimately this connects to the view that many people hold that Atwood is actually an alleged bad feminist. There are several instances in which people claim that Atwood has gone against perceived feminist values in her literary works and in her personal life. Early feminists fought for the femme fatale character to be stopped being used in literature because at the time women were often being depicted as either weak and needing help or as manipulative and evil, with few depictions of women variating from these two stereotypes. Feminists fought for new positives depictions for women to be used in literature, and attempted to stop all uses of the femme fatale or weak women stereotype in literature.
Atwood wrote a femme fatale character because she believed that it had been long enough since the femme fatale had been removed from literature and that considering that there were manipulative women in the world she should be able to depict them in her novel Overview of Margaret Eleanor Atwood. This perception of Atwood as going against the feminist movement has continued on until today. More recently Atwood came under fire from the MeToo movement for her support of an open petition to hold the University of British Columbia accountable for firing Steven Galloway because of an alleged sexual harassment claim against him.
The University of B. Atwood criticized how the MeToo movement believes that quick action is needed in order to ensure that if the allegations are true, the accused cannot do any more harm. Atwood has said that she believes that this quick action had led to a witch trial like environment where people are presumed guilty before innocent and that the burden of guilt is put onto the accused and not the accuser.
Feminism in the Handmaid's Tale. Accessed October 10,To date, Modernity In Frankenstein work of Atwood is actively Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature. What do Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature think about the form of handmaids? Ofglen is Offred's shopping partner who is a member of Mayday, which Gilead: Government Oppression In Dystopian Literature an underground organization dedicated to overthrowing Gilead.