Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: The Struggle of Women


Length: 850 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



The Struggle of Women in The Handmaid's Tale 

 

The Handmaid's Tale  This is a futuristic novel that takes place in the northern part of the USA sometime in the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the oppressive and totalitarian Republic of Gilead. The regime demands high moral retribution and a virtuous lifestyle. The Bible is the guiding principle. As a result of the sexual freedom, free abortion and high increase of venereal diseases at the end of the twentieth century, many women, (and men also, but that is forbidden to say), are sterile. The women who are still fertile are recruited as Handmaids, and their only mission in life is to give birth to the offspring of their Commander, whose wife is infertile.

The main character in the book is Offred, one of these unfortunate servants whose only right to exist depends on her ovaries’ productivity. She lives with the Commander and his wife in a highly supervised centre.

Unlike men, women have been facing unique problems for centuries, and often women experience harassment and discrimination. In today's society, females are trying to combat their tribulations through lawsuits and protest rallies. Literature often deals with people being unable to articulate their problems. Often, unforeseen circumstances force people to conceal their true emotions. In The Handmaid's Tale, the main female characters find ways to escape their situations rather than deal with them.

Offred from The Handmaid's Tale uses different tactics to cope with her situation. She is trapped within a distopian society comprised of a community riddled by despair. Though she is not physically tortured, the overwhelming and ridiculously powerful government mentally enslaves her. Offred lives in a horrific society, which prevents her from being freed. Essentially, the government enslaves her because she is a female and she is fertile. Offred memories about the way life used to be with her husband, Luke, her daughter, and her best friend Moira provides her with temporary relief from her binding situation. Also, Offred befriends the Commander's aide, Nick. Offred longs to be with her husband and she feels that she can find his love by being with Nick. She risks her life several times just to be with Nick. Feeling loved by Nick gives her a window of hope in her otherwise miserable life.

Instead of proclaiming her feelings out loud, she suppresses them. The result is a series of recordings, which describes her life, and the things she wishes she could change.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: The Struggle of Women." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Feb 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=4440>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale "Writing is an act of faith; I believe it's also an act of hope, the hope that things can be better than they are" MargaretAtwood Offred is an oppressed woman in the patriarchal society of Gilead. She is telling her story to an unknown reader. We learn about Offred through her own personal private thoughts....   [tags: Papers] 611 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Offred's Struggle to Maintain Control Over Her Own Life in The Handmaid's Tale - How Effectively Does Atwood Present Offred's Struggle to Establish/Maintain Control Over Her Own Life/Identity The Handmaids Tale is a woman's autobiographical narrative that challenges the absolute authority of Gilead, highlighting the significance of story telling as an act of resistance against oppression, thereby making a particular kind of individual political statement. Such as when Offred steals the butter from the dinner table to use as hand and face cream. " There's a pat of butter on the side of the plate....   [tags: English Literature] 1160 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Feminism in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - Feminism in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood explores the role that women play in society and the consequences of a countryís value system. She reveals that values held in the United States are a threat to the livelihood and status of women. As one critic writes, “the author has concluded that present social trends are dangerous to individual welfare” (Prescott 151).  The novel is set in the near future in Gilead, formerly the U.S., at a time when the population rate is rapidly declining....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]
:: 2 Works Cited
1097 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Utopias and Dystopias Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood These two novels are dystopian tales about the possible future for the human race. Both have people totally controlled by the society in which they live. Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1948 when the two world wars were still fresh in everybody's minds, also people were well aware of totalitarian states due to publicity about places under dictatorship rule such as Nazi Germany. The Handmaid's Tale was written in 1987 and features a dystopia in which women have had all of their rights removed....   [tags: English Literature] 898 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans 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 toxic waste. Fear is power. Fear is ever-present in Gilead; it is implemented through violence and force....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
904 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: The Handmaid's Dystopia - The Handmaid's Dystopia "The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is a dystopia about a world where unrealistic things take place. The events in the novel could never actually take place in our reality." This is what most people think and assume, but they're wrong. Look at the world today and in the recent past, and there are not only many situations that have ALMOST become a Gilead, but places that have been and ARE Gileadean societies. We're not in Kansas any more, Dorothy. Even today there are places in the world where there is startling similarity to this fictitious dystopia....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 1495 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: Men Will be Men - Men Will be Men in The Handmaid's Tale Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Offred's world is not even its proximity, but its occasional attractiveness. The idea that women need strict protection from harm is not one espoused solely by the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan, but also by women like Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. This protectionist variety of feminism is incorporated in the character of Offred's mother, and to a certain degree in Aunt Lydia. Offred's mother is just as harsh in her censorship of pornography as any James Dobson....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 588 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: An Analysis - The Handmaid's Tale The novel, The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood focuses on the choices made by the society of Gilead in which the preservation and security of mankind is more highly regarded than freedom or happiness. This society has undergone many physical changes that have led to extreme psychological ramifications. I think that Ms. Atwood believes that the possibility of our society becoming as that of Gilead is very evident in the choices that we make today and from what has occured in the past....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 651 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - I Tell, Therefore I Am In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, women are subjected to unthinkable oppression. Practically every aspect of their life is controlled, and they are taught to believe that their only purpose is to bear children for their commander. These “handmaids” are not allowed to read, write or speak freely. Any type of expression would be dangerous to the order of the Gilead’s strict society. They are conditioned to believe that they are safer in this new society. Women are supposedly no longer exploited or disrespected (pornography, rape, etc.) as they once were....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale] 878 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale The Historical Notes are important in the way we perceive the novel as they answer many important questions raised by the novel and also enhance some of the novels main themes. The first question it answers is the one raised at the end of the novel; that is whether Offred is stepping up into the,'darkness,' or the, 'light.' The reader finds out that Offred escaped Gilead, presumably into Canada, with the help of the,'Underground Femaleroad.' The reader also learns that it was Nick who orchestrated her escape, using his position as a member of the Eyes....   [tags: Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays] 978 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Through these examples, it is apparent that Offred cannot resolve her problems because of outside circumstances.

Works such as The Handmaid's Tale deal with females being unable to resolve their problems. Many authors have written on this subject matter. Though some problems are unavoidable, one can overcome certain situations by being more assertive. Along with male domination and the laws of society, women have had to contend with other challenging and oppressing situations. Despite this, women in modern society are becoming more powerful.

You don’t state your thesis until your third paragraph, and it needs to be stated in the beginning paragraph.  “In The Handmaid's Tale, the main female characters find ways to escape their situations rather than deal with them.”  If this is your thesis, you need to make sure that everything in your paper supports this statement.  Right now, your paper focuses on one character, Offred, but your thesis says “the main female characters.”  To make this work, you have to either discuss several more characters and how they escape their circumstances (which I think would be very interesting and add a lot to your paper) or reword your thesis.  “In The Handmaid's Tale, Offred, the main female character, does not effectively deal with her oppressed condition, but instead tries to find ways to escape reality”  would be one example of this.

Your paper starts with a plot summary.  While it is good to give the reader a sense of background, you need to do this by incorporating plot example into your argument.  You shouldn’t have paragraphs that discuss plot only; instead, your paragraphs should each have a main idea that supports your thesis, and then plot should be used to support that main idea.

Also, in addition to plot, it always helps a lot if you can find quotes from the text to support your thesis.

I think it is interesting how you make the connection between the women in this book and modern women.  However, it really isn’t included in your thesis, so you probably should not include it.  The only proper way to include it would be to rewrite your thesis statement to include a comparison between Offred and modern women, and then support it by going beyond vague statements.  For example, the statement Along with male domination and the laws of society, women have had to contend with other challenging and oppressing situations. Despite this, women in modern society are becoming more powerful” is somewhat vague. You would need to describe oppressing situations that correspond to the ones in The Handmaid’s Tale” and tell how they are dealing with them, etc.

 

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com