10 November 2006
Professor Christine Smith
Rebellion comes in many forms; there is no one “correct” way to rebel against an
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”.
, the entire definition of family has been forcibly reverted back to a
modified Gileadean “normal family”.
Once, women cooked, cleaned, and raised children on
In Gildead, however, these tasks are split up among many women in one
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.
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.
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