Without the men knowing they had education what would happen with the women? Would things be different? Or would women have no choice?
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THis would be next to impossible. The society was so regulated and women so subjected that any "learning" would have to be done in secret and at great peril. If a woman were to be caught, depending on who they were, punishment would most likely entail death. If a woman was a fertile handmaiden, the punishment might be less severe. Educated women in any society make a great difference. It is the difference between progressive and stagnant. One can see this happening in places like Afghanistan today. If women were educated in this novel the autocratic rule would most surely have problems. Education equals freedom.