Analysis of "The Handmaid's Tale"

Topics: The Handmaid's Tale, Science fiction, Margaret Atwood Pages: 3 (1143 words) Published: November 11, 2005
The Handmaid's Tale is a distopian novel of tightly wound truths and links to our society today. It is so tightly wound, like a thorn bush, that gaining any meaning from it at all proves to be a very arduous task indeed for those who are not predisposed to do so. Nevertheless, some meaning did present itself during the text, as follows. The truth that is privileged in The Handmaid's Tale is that societies/regimes based on totalitarianism and extremism are not satisfactory for anyone involved. Even though they may in theory be an improvement, in practice they fall dismally short of the mark. This truth is apparent in every aspect of The Handmaid's tale. The commander, for instance one of those key men responsible for the creation of Gilead, found that he craved intimacy and interaction; two of the aspects of the previous society that he had decided were unnecessary and served only to complicate reproduction. So the commander himself found the regime he had helped to create lacking. Eventually the regime he had helped to create came back to haunt him as he found himself being tried for crimes against the guidelines he had set. Serena Joy, a traditionalist and anti-feminist, finds that she gets exactly what she has been campaigning for, and that this was not what she thought life should be like at all, as, in fact, she hadn't thought about it. Offred, as with the other handmaids, the subjects around whom the society of Gilead, was constructed found although they had been given security from fear of things such as robbery and rape, they still lived in fear. But now the fear was a fear for their lives and that fear was constant. This doesn't seem to be much of a trade, along with losing freedoms such as literacy, passion, and communication. Even the aunts, the spokeswomen for the Gilead regime, lived in constant fear of being shipped off to colonies at any moment as they themselves did not meet the requirements posed on the women by the new regime. The Genre of The...

Bibliography: Atwood, M. (1996). The Handmaid 's Tale. Great Britain: Vintage.
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