Literary Analysis of the Handmaid's Tale

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Offred, in Margaret Atwood’s disturbing novel The Handmaid’s Tale says, “But who can remember pain once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.” The society of Gilead causes the aforementioned pain and demoralization by using women’s bodies as political instruments. Similar to Atwood’s novel, today’s men put immense pressure on women to be a certain way, give them children, and take care of the home and the like. In Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, she examines the theme of demoralization of women through graphic predictions of what women’s futures may look like.

In 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20, the Bible states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” In The Handmaid’s Tale, the society influences the citizens, like Ofglen, differently. The society wrongfully manipulates women to use their bodies for what the government decides is right, not what God planned for their bodies. Through this wrongful use, women have once again become less superior to men and treated more like an object than a person. Also in Corinthians 6:18, the Bible states, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” The government in The Handmaid’s tale encouraged sexual immorality by passing the handmaids from man to man, ruining the women’s purity and demoralizing their bodies by using them purely for reproduction methods.

In the time period of The Handmaid’s Tale, the demoralization of women was normal and accepted, but even the supporters of the demoralization remembered the time when women weren’t being passed from man to man to reproduce and were respected and upheld in society. In today’s society most of the biblical morals are upheld...
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