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FINALCRITICISMbodyparagraphsandworkscited - Trujillo 1 -1...

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Trujillo 1 -1 The Handmaid’s Tale : A Tale of Oppression Micaela Trujillo English 2 Ms. Keller 23 March 2009
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Trujillo 2 Micaela Trujillo English II H/G Ms. Keller 23 March 2009 The Handmaid's Tale: A Tale of Oppression In her book, Atwood includes three major themes, one of them being free will. A reference book, Novels for Students, acknowledges in the article “The Handmaid’s Tale” that the book entangles the question of free will being boundless or, if it has boundaries, by showing no clear response concerning the destiny of the character with the most free will, Moira: She tells us she is content being employed at the brothel, but this joy goes against what she previously stood for, and it appropriately complies with the government’s role for her (Handmaid’s Novels 122). Atwood also prompts the question of free will in the character of Ofglen. Ofglen, who chooses to be involved with the underground police, ends up committing suicide when she finds out that the Eyes are coming to get her (Atwood 238). This illustrates why the society lacks free will, since it is an uncontrollable aspect of humanity and may not always work how the characters intend. Another theme embedded within The Handmaid’s Tale is that of traditional sex roles. The article “The Handmaid’s Tale” illustrates the fact that men in Gilead control every angle of business and government life. Women are in charge of all domestic aspects and having them do anything but housework is unheard of (Handmaid’s Novels 121). Still, Atwood’s depiction of the females’ roles in Jezebel's reveals "shocking contradictions" concerning "men that are so corrupt that they break laws . .. they
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Trujillo 3 themselves established." This forces one to think, the article goes on to say, that "men are working hard to keep oppressive traditions alive after their usefulness to society is spent" (Handmaid's Novels 122). A highly emphasized role within society in Gilead is guilt and innocence. Many times guilt was forced unto a person by her own friends, even though she may have been innocent, because the offender thinks that she is helping the “guilty” subject. For instance, Janine is forced to admit that she is guilty of being gang-raped, but Aunt Lydia does not believe that she is psychologically harming the girl, she believes she is saving her from future assault (Handmaid’s Novels 122-123). Also, Offred often feels guilty about been with the Commander during unofficial hours, and starts to feel guilty about having been Luke’s mistress. Offred, though, realizes that she is not the one that wants to see the Commander, the Commander is the one that asks her to come to his office. During an interview on her book, Atwood was asked about the genre of her book and whether of not it was science fiction. “It certainly isn’t science fiction,” Atwood replied. “Science fiction is filled with Martian and space travel to other planets, and things like that. That isn’t this book at all.
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2009 for the course ENGLISH 8888 taught by Professor Keller during the Spring '09 term at Aarhus Universitet.

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FINALCRITICISMbodyparagraphsandworkscited - Trujillo 1 -1...

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