The Handmaid's Tale

The Importance of Choice 12th Grade

In a society of declining birth rates and morals, the people of Gilead turn to religion as a solution to their turmoil. They seek rescue in the biblical story of Rachel and Leah, and are inspired to create a society of patriarchal hierarchies to combat their ongoing issues. Atwood creates this futuristic society to highlight the negative aspects of an oppressive government and social order. She also explores the concept of freedom and the value of knowledge with the expropriation of women's rights such as reading or choosing a partner. Atwood depicts a corrupted dystopian society through impersonal and passive diction as well as a metaphor comparing herself to a cloud.

Atwood utilizes this passivity in her writing to emphasize the drastic change in how society views women in Gilead. Women have lost all of their independence in this reformed society, they are no longer allowed to read, write, have jobs, have their own money, or have vanity. They have been belittled and suppressed to where they are not even considered human. Offred is distraught over this change and cannot let go of the past life and freedom she once had. She falls asleep on the floor and is bombarded with flashbacks of her past life before she had become a...

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