MakeGileadGreatAgain-2.pdf - Siphanoum 1 Oriana Siphanoum...

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Siphanoum 1 Oriana Siphanoum Ms. Lopez AP Literature and Composition January 17, 2017 Make Gilead Great Again A society without a hint of feminism leads to a world of bigotry and misogyny; completely altering the distribution of power and the lives of all. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, Offred is introduced to the audience as a Handmaid transformed by the new society, who is oppressed, hopeless, and deprived of power. The Republic of Gilead is an institutionalised, retrogressive state that inflicts the suppression of female rights due to patriarchal influences and sexist ideologies that repress and brainwash women into the submissive, powerless roles in society. The issues prevalent in the text are similar to those in today’s society. Atwood gives the dystopian protagonist, Offred, an opportunity to reject or adhere to the Feminism and Gender theory; ultimately allowing growth within herself and her character as a whole. The hierarchy of women in the Republic of Gilead is determined based on their ability to conceive, which hinders those who have no control of their fertility. Once their “class” is determined they are divided into Wives, Marthas, and Handmaids. Although each role has different expectations, they all are degrading and leave the women essentially powerless. It is deemed that the role of women in society is to have a place working in the home for the family, bearing children, and being a successful wife. These three classes of women present in the novel cover all three traditional gender roles. Offred finds herself lacking control of not only her body
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Siphanoum 2 but her thoughts. Being a Handmaid requires her to complete training at the Rachel and Leah Center prior to being placed with a family. Following her training, Offred’s mind is penetrated by Aunt Lydia’s words of wisdom; finding Aunt Lydia’s voice constantly replaying in her head, and finding herself subconsciously adhering to the lifestyle of Gilead. Throughout the novel she grows accustomed to this misogynistic society, realizing that her self-worth is measured based on her ability to conceive which is highlighted when she states: “‘I am thirty-three years old. I have brown hair. I stand five seven without shoes. I have trouble remembering what I used to look like. I have viable ovaries. I have one more chance’”(143) . Offred includes her viable ovaries 1 when describing herself which indicates that she now views herself the way that society views her- simply a medium of reproduction. She finds her personal freedom constricted and is only valuable due to her ability to reproduce . 2 Gilead generates a sexist ideology that equates male
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