The Handmaid's Tale

The Power of Love 9th Grade

In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Offred, the main character lives in Gilead, a dystopia where fertile women are solely used to reproduce children. Known as handmaids, these women are confined into prison-like centers and forced to fornicate with an aging commander. In this world, the handmaids are treated as farm animals instead of humans. Instead of love and respect, these women get punished or even killed if they do not complete their task. Most importantly, these women lack a sense of love and care that is necessary for civilization. Love is the quintessential emotion that motivates people to strive forward. Because these women do not receive any love, they are not treated as human. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood uses Offred and the other handmaids to show that the capacity and conscious of love for oneself and each other makes us human.

Conscious love makes us more than just objects. During one instance where Offred has sex with the commander, Offred thinks about the commander’s role in the process of impregnation and how both of them are just tools to the government. Atwood writes, “Possibly he wants something from me, some emotion, some acknowledgment that he too is human, is more than just a seedpod” (262)....

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