The Handmaid's Tale

Comment on the theme of abuse of power in Gilead-The Handmaids's Tale

what symbols,key events and situations shoud i include to illustrate this theme

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One example of "abuse of power" would be involve Aunt Lydia. Her training of the girls. Unlike the other women in the novel she is not restrained by her environment. The "aunts" are cruel and are often apt to torture their charges. They do this simply because they can.

The Commander also tends to abuse power but not in the same way. He asks for "favors" and he generally gets them. A game of Scrabble and a kiss; gifts here and there, and maybe something more at times, but we're never really told that.

Offred is a bit different. Her power is found in her sexuality; she's fully aware of her power, and she uses it ever so subtley. She knows she's unable to fulfill the things she begins, but that doesn't matter, the sexuality is a mental power that consumes the minds of the men around her. This power is very real, and made even more so by the fact that her actions aren't blatant, but they take place in front of everyone. The Guardians are arroused by her actions, and the Angels never notice.


The Handmaids's Tale