In the society of Gilead, the most highly valued aspect of life is giving birth to a healthy child without deformities. Gilead was the aftermath of a nuclear world war (or some type of chemical mishap involving most of the world). As a result of this, some women and men are left sterile and unable to increase the significantly decreased population. The women who are fertile are placed in institutions where they are trained in the process of pregnancy and child bearing; those who are not are left to die in areas with concentrated radiation.
This society has undergone a change so extraordinary that it has taken us from one extreme to the next, leaving many people wondering what happened to make it so. The things that were most highly honored and respect are now treated with disdain. These changes were not all detrimental but the majority of them we could have done without. Ms. Atwood poses that humankind has a nature to develop, whether that development is for the empowerment or destruction of our society is unknown until the consequences take place.
A strong emphasis is placed on striving towards bearing healthy children. This placed the women of Gilead in a very controversial position. They were overly protected and oppressed because their importance as reproduction machines outweighed their personal importance. They were no longer individuals, they were merely vessels,... [continues]
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