Support Live Chat
Nov 8, 2017 in Opinion
Like No Other Period in History
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
20th century of ideologies, like no other period in history, has shown to mankind the thread and terror of totalitarianism. The idea of social disease leading to death of personality, strengthening of ideology, and power has become an unfortunate reality for millions of people around the world. No wonder, a dystopia as a literary form has become a distinctive feature in writer’s toolbox of the past century being a reflection of society’s apprehension of that time.
Status of Women in a Totalitarian Society
In this article, we will focus on a status of women in a totalitarian society envisioned by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale, as well as the tendencies of today’s world that imply a second-rate status for women.
The novel in a hyperbolized manner depicts a victory of patriarchal-fundamental “traditional values” in a fictional Republic of Gilead, formed within the borders of the USA. The outer form of the story resembles Orwell’s “1984” and involves such classical aspects of the dystopian style as total control over citizens, uniform, depravity of privacy, fake history etc.
Most of the population in the Republic is infertile. Moreover, the ones, who are still capable of giving birth, refuse to bring children into the world of terror and despair. Therefore, the government takes extreme measures to increase the birth rate. The Institute of Handmaids is being established.
Handmaids – forced members of the institution – are surrogate mothers, whose only purpose is to bear children for the masters of the privileged families of the Republic.
The story is presented from a point of view of a woman named Offred. “Of-Fred” refers to Fred – the man she serves. Instead of going to a colony, being one of a few who could still conceive a child, she becomes a handmade.
It should be mentioned, that the policy of the state dictates: if a handmade cannot get pregnant from her master – no matter how many unsuccessful attempts does he have with previous handmaids – it is always her blame.
From the very beginning, the story states clear and unconditional triumph of patriarchy – women are regarded as second class citizens, being denied their basic rights and completely deprived of any form of freedom. The new military dictatorship is reorganized along the orthodox ideas of compulsory Christian regime. This is a distinctive feature of the novel: when classical concept of dystopia seems to deny religion, traditionalism, and family, the world envisioned by Margaret Atwood is greatly based on a twisted interpretation of these values.
While getting familiar with the details of the Gilead’s order, it becomes clear that the fantasy of Atwood has its roots in the reality of some countries in today’s world. Despite of the noticeable progress around the globe, the problem of abusing women still takes its place.
In modern society prevails the image of a confident, successful, and free woman. However, for many representatives of the fair sex, all these privileges remain inaccessible. Prohibition of private property, restricted access to education and reading, inability to socialize with other men – all this resembles the position of women in some states of the third world. The truth is that the absolute majority of the female’s population in some of these countries is illiterate. Most of the girls are being given in marriage before they turn sixteen. 80% of women are being forced in marriage. In Afghanistan, for instance, domestic violence is so widespread, that 87% of women admit to suffer from it. Streets are being wondered by more than a million of women, forced to prostitution. And the level of suicide among female is much higher than among men.
Throughout the history, women were always treated less worthy then justice and dignity dictates. That is in the very nature of humans – being somehow civilized beings deep down, we still managed to remain animals led by a scent of force and power. These are the roots of evil and unfairness caused to the weaker sex.
It’s worth mentioning that in the epilogue, the historians of the future justify the regime of Gilead. The society of the Republic faced a thread of extinction, and, therefore, the extreme measures were taken. Though the unprejudiced mind, these “necessary measures” would seem absurdly hypocritical.
The Cultural Tendencies of Today
The cultural tendencies of today’s world point out that the rights of men and women are being more and more equalized. Although the totalitarian governments around the world like North Korea and Cuba will continue to exist and some aspects of totalitarianism will appear even in democratic countries, the reality envisioned by Margaret Atwood will hardly take its place in the future. That is because the key perspective of the Novel – traditionalism – inevitably loses its influence in the modern world and will proceed to fade.
Having a close look at the traditionalistic values, we spot a denial of personal feelings, personal spiritual life, and sincere informal closeness. This means the rejection of the very basis of our worldview. And I think this is where the main lie of traditionalism lies – a family is no longer a union of mutual love and trust. That is when a family becomes a “cell”, an “economic unit”. Atwood’s novel highlights these features of the orthodox and conservative society.
In conclusion, I would like to say that there is no doubt that in the future, we will encounter lots difficulties of political, ecological, and demographical sorts. But I look forward with optimism and believe that the reason, intellect, and kindness will take over and lead humanity to the best possible solutions.
- Issues of Human Transplantation
- Combating Illiteracy
- A Blessing in Disguise
- The Legality of Abortion
- Keeping African Roots Alive in Brazil
Customer`s comment 27 days ago
Big thanks to your writing team for coming through for me with my last order. I didn’t give them a lot of notice, but they were able to come up with a superb paper for me. This is the kind of service that I love. Sometimes, I get forgetful, and I forget when my paper due dates are. It is so comforting to know that I can be in a rush and contact Essays-Writer.net and that you will deliver a great paper for me, no matter what. The fact that you include an anti-plagiarism report is great, too. I appreciate knowing that my work is totally original. Essays-Writer.net rocks!
Customer`s comment 25 days ago
Your writers are masters at time management. I turned in an order for four very difficult papers, and they were all written perfectly, even with the short deadline notice. Thanks, Essays-Writer.net!
Customer`s comment 20 days ago
Your writing company delivers for me every time. I have never been disappointed.
Customer`s comment 15 days ago
I was happy with the two essays that your writers did for me. Even though the subject matter was quite dense, they managed to come up with high quality work. This has been my experience with Essays-Writer.net, over the long haul. Each and every time I have needed a high quality paper, you have come through with outstanding writing examples for me. I am pleased to recommend your writing service to my friends and colleagues.
Customer`s comment 22 days ago
The work I received from your writers was much better than expected, especially considering the affordability of your services! This is so impressive! I wasn’t aware, previously, that companies like Essays-Writer.net even existed, but then again, I’m pretty sure you are the only one that is this good. I have heard a lot of bad things about other writing companies, but never a negative word about Essays-Writer.net. You are reputed as being the best, and I, for one, am convinced that this is true.Thank you for the outstanding job you did on my essay and research papers.
Customer`s comment 11 days ago
Thank you for the great paper! My professor gave me a high mark for it.
Customer`s comment 27 days ago
As always, your writers have completed another impressive paper. This time, the subject matter required a lot of research. They not only completed the research. They also documented it absolutely perfectly. It would have taken me months to write a paper this thorough and of this high quality. Thank you so much for your diligence. It was greatly appreciated.
Customer`s comment 12 days ago
I find your writing service to be staffed with serious professionals who understand the urgency of turning out great writing for your customers. I have ordered papers from you for a year and a half now, and each time, I have been given superb papers that were error free and interesting to read. I truly appreciate your efforts, and hope to continue to do business with you from this point forward. You deserve my loyalty, because you are certainly loyal to your customers! Wishing you all the best.
Customer`s comment 2 days ago
Once again, I have sat down at my computer, because I feel I owe you big thanks. There is just no way to express how grateful I am for everything you did to make my research paper as good as it was. My professor gave me an A+ on it, which is the first A+ I have received during my entire college career.
Customer`s comment 8 days ago
Now I know where to go when I need an excellent paper written on a short notice. I am very happy with the paper your writers just produced for me. It was absolutely perfect. Please thank the ones who handled my order and let them know that I will definitely do business with Essays-Writer.net again.
Customer`s comment 9 days ago
Dear Writers #0019, Thank you for taking such a good care of me. I apologize for being as picky as I was, but I was only reflecting the professor’s requirements. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got my grades back. He gave me an A+ on the paper, which is almost unheard. The paper you produced for me included each and every thing that the professor had required. He is notorious for giving us next-to-impossible tasks to perform in his class, but you managed to pull it off. I don’t know if any other student has received an A+ in this guy’s class, but he simply could not find a single thing wrong with my paper! Yay! Thanks so much.
Customer`s comment 15 days ago
My professor told me that the essay you wrote for me was the best one in the whole class! Thanks for doing such a good job. Compliments from this professor are rare!
Customer`s comment 30 days ago
Dear Essays-Writer.net, You handled my rush order beautifully. I am still amazed by the quality of the term paper, because your writers didn’t have a whole lot of time to write it. Still, they did a great job and I’m happy that I chose Essays-Writer.net. Thank you for taking care of this in such an eloquent way.
Customer`s comment 1 days ago
Dear Madam or Sir, Thank you for your competence and high standards. My paper was wonderful! I shall recommend your writing services highly. You are far and above better than other writing services that I have used. Your professionalism, attention to detail, high quality writing and great prices are a few of the reasons why I will never use any other writing service. Thanks again.
Customer`s comment 16 days ago
I am getting ready to graduate in another week, but had to take a minute to jot this line because I want you to know what a help your writing service has been to me, especially during my junior and senior years. The work has been hard, and I have had to study virtually all the time. With you helping me out with my more challenging writing projects, I have been able to move forward and do well on my tests and other school projects. I will be forever grateful to you for your help, and I wish you continued success with your fantastic writing service. All the best!