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English literature 2 - Essay Example

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The Handmaid’s Tale written by a Canadian author named Margaret Atwood is a work of science fiction set in a not-too-distant future, where an oppressive…
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English literature 2
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Download file to see previous pages The story mainly explores the themes of control and women subjugation in the ill-fated society. The complex ways in which Sons of Jacob control the Gilead’s people and the ways anti-feminism is indoctrinated throughout the story are analyzed in detail. The narrative provides a clear view of the ways feminism has gone awry in the near future with the rise of patriarchy which in-turn was controlled by the religious totalitarianism.
Set in the near future, the dystopian world is marked with rigid laws and women subjugation by a totalitarian Christian theocracy called Sons of Jacob. After the assassination of the president, a group of Right-wing fundamentalists take control of the entire State through a military coup and establishes the Republic of Gilead. The state was founded with the desire to restrict freedom and control every aspects of the society. “The Gilean government maintains its power by means of surveillance, suppression of information, ‘re-education’ centers, and totalitarian violence”.1 Owing to the pollution and radiation, the society sees a steep increase in sterility among men and women, which declines the birth-rates to dangerous level. Because of the declining birth rates, the oppressive puritan government of Gilead focuses on increasing its population by recruiting handmaids to repopulate the state.
Offred was assigned to bear children for the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy, an elite couple who have trouble conceiving. The freedom of Offred is completely restricted by the totalitarian government. “Offred in The Handmaids Tale is victimized by a totalitarian system that attempts to control her thoughts and deny her humanity”.2 She is allowed to leave the house only for shopping trips and her monthly doctor visits. Even when she is away from home, her every public move is watched by the Eyes, Gilead’s secret police force. She is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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