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The Handmaids Tale Essay

  • Submitted by: AbigailVivas31cx
  • on November 19, 2013
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 2,891 words

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Below is an essay on "The Handmaids Tale" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Feminism as we know it began in the mid 1960's as the Women's Liberation Movement. Among its chief tenants is the idea of women's empowerment, the idea that women are capable of doing and should be allowed to do anything men can do. Feminists believe that neither sex is naturally superior. They stand behind the idea that women are inherently just as strong and intelligent as the so-called stronger sex. Many writers have taken up the cause of feminism in their work. One of the most well-known writers to deal with feminist themes is Margaret Atwood. Her work is clearly influenced by the movement and many literary critics, as well as Atwood herself, have identified her as a feminist writer. However, one of Atwood's most successful books, The Handmaid's Tale, stands in stark contrast to the ideas of feminism. In fact, the female characters in the novel are portrayed in such a way that they directly conflict with the idea of women's empowerment.

Men Will be Men in The Handmaid's Tale

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Offred's world is not even its proximity, but its occasional attractiveness. The idea that women need strict protection from harm is not one espoused solely by the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan, but also by women like Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. This protectionist variety of feminism is incorporated in the character of Offred's mother, and to a certain degree in Aunt Lydia. Offred's mother is just as harsh in her censorship of pornography as any James Dobson. By burning the works which offend her, she too is contributing to the notion that women's safety is contingent on squelching the Bill of Rights. The restriction of sexually explicit pictures places the blame for sex crimes on women, again -- the women in the photographs who supposedly drive men to rape. Where have we heard this before? Who else refuses to hold rapists responsible for their own actions, choosing instead to restrict the behavior of those they consider the...

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"The Handmaids Tale". Anti Essays. 9 Dec. 2018


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The Handmaids Tale. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/The-Handmaids-Tale-547654.html