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Handmaids Tale

Handmaids Tale - Williams 1 Ryan Williams 10 November 2006...

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Williams 1 Ryan Williams 10 November 2006 EN 102 Professor Christine Smith Defining “Family” Rebellion comes in many forms; there is no one “correct” way to rebel against an indecency. When looking at family situations throughout history, one can notice a rebellious pattern in the “normal” family. A “normal family,” what was once a husband, a wife, and their children has, today, turned into an anomaly. Families range from single parents with more children then they can possibly care for to same-sex couples raising adopted children. At one point in history, one person rebelled against what society saw as “normal”. In The Handmaid’s Tale , the entire definition of family has been forcibly reverted back to a modified Gileadean “normal family”. Once, women cooked, cleaned, and raised children on their own. In Gildead, however, these tasks are split up among many women in one household. One woman would clean, one have and raise children, and so on and so forth. The role of the husband and wife are no longer real roles, they are merely labels. Everything changed. Families do not “have overt powers of choice, do not have many options from which to choose, and are denied the opportunity to read and write, that is, the opportunity to learn and to express what they feel and think” (Hogsette 2). The reader sees, however, the flaw in this way of arranging a household. Many characters long for the past. They rebel against the rules set by the government of the Republic of Gilead to appease this longing. An ironic situation that the book mimics, and at the same time shows rebellion, is when the Commander takes Offred to Jezebel’s, a brothel frequented by many high-ranking
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Williams 2 officers of Gilead.
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