Critical analysis of the Handmaid's Tale,The Edible Woman, Oryx and Crake Identity is a state of mind in which someone recognizes their true character traits. Identity is the selfawareness of one’s self. This leads them to find out who they are, their capabilities and allows them to be more selfaware of their inner and outer self. In other words, it's basically who you are and what you define yourself as being. Knowing oneself also knows what one desires out of life, ones goals and aspirations. External appearance have very little to do with the self. Through this process to selfawareness, Margaret Atwood takes us on a journey by using imagery and symbolism in The Handmaid’s Tale, The Edible woman and Oryx and Crake to explain the lives of three characters and how they find their selfidentity. In the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, the main character, Offred, completely loses her identity. “My name isn't Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it's forbidden” (Handmaid 14). Throughout the whole book we don’t find out what her real name is and what she looks like. “I am thirtythree years old. I have brown hair. I stand five seven without shoes. I have trouble remembering what I used to look like. I have one more chance (Handmaid 24). She says she has trouble remembering what she used to look like, and she's not even able to look in mirrors anymore. She can't see herself, just like we can't see her. She is surrounded by rules that must be obeyed because she is afraid of being tortured or killed. Religious extremists have taken power, and have turned the sexual revolution upside down. Most women in this new society experience very little freedom because they essentially belong to their male commanders, and must submit to the ideological framework of a Biblical precedent from
thousands of years ago. The Handmaids are named according to who they belong to. “OfFred” belongs to Fred, “Of Warren”, “Of Glen”, “Of Charles”. The old society of Gilead is completely different from the new society; the old society was once the place in which Feminist argued for liberation from the traditional gender role. What women had worked hard for to gain rights to birth control,legalization of abortion and an increasing number of active female votes is completely gone in a short period of time. Not only were women now forbidden to vote in Gilead, they were also denied the right to read or write, according to the new laws of the establishment. Handmaids are sent to the Rachel and Leah's reeducation center (The Red Center) . This is where woman are reeducated to become handmaid's and are taught women are men's servants and they should only be concerned about being listening to them and to get pregnant. There have no other choices because they have control over them , they have control over who they see and talk to. “We learned to lipread, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, and watching each other's mouths. In this way we exchanged names from bed to bed: Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June” (Handmaid 56)”. They are taken far away from their friends and family with no money and no way out there stuck! The new republic of Gilead are scaring people telling them the laws are Gods rules and by not obeying them their disobeying God. People are likely to do anything to obey God especially when they live in fear of punishment or death.
When I'm naked I lie down on the examining table, on the sheet of chilly crackling disposable paper I pull the second sheet, the cloth one, up over my body. At neck level there's another sheet, suspended from the ceiling. It intersects me so the doctor will never see my face. He deals with a torso only (Handmaid 6)
Offred’s body and mind are divided by a sheet that separates her physical body, the site of potential pregnant, in her head, where her intellectual selfresides. The republic of Gilead is ...
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