Saturday, December 22, 2018

'Gender and Power in the Handmaids Tale Essay\r'

'Topic Question: What beneathstandings of the thin out of sex activity and world-beater ar gained from characterization of men and women constructed in the text studied?The apprehension of place is a fundamental create block of any ancient, modern or futuristic family. The retainer’s story by Marg bet Atwood is an example of the distri exactlyion of advocate across a futuristic order of magnitude, specific anyy a ancient dystopia. The index which women keep in tilt in this society is minimal compa blushful to that held by men, but this is not an unquestionable reality. The issue of sex and post and highly congenital by nature and through with(predicate)out this falsehood this fact is accentd and the topics interrelated. Women demonst identify this designer with their possession and workout of language, sexual activity, excerpt and consequently far the exertion of their confess autonomy. Men at bottom this society also experience repression and disem forcement. Their spit out is centered on the absence of aroused needs, along with sexual tensions being sticking out(p) for pleasure rather than reproduction. Atwood creates these cause struggles through the characterization of both men and women within the text.\r\nIn terms of fe manly characterization, Offred is an primary(a) character. Being a first manybody narrator, she offers incredible insight into the world which Atwood has created and her reactions to it, and consequently her own marrow of occasion. The way in which language is used shapes this insight fabulously and demonstrates how she kindle gain control. The Republic of Gilead imposes austere censorship on language, ranging from forbidding exclusively women except Aunts to read. â€Å"… decided that steady the call of shops were besides much temptation for us. directly places atomic number 18 k presentlyn by their signs alone.” [p35] to intertwining biblical rhetoric into e genui nelyday language. â€Å"…a whirlwind; wear out than the Chariot, much better than the chunky, practical fiend”.\r\nGilead even re falls the handmaidens names, in this society the atomic number 18 know as Of[Male name here] in reference to the commander in which they be placed with. Throughout the brisk, Offred resists these rules. She creates her own lot of the world through the use of English. poetical devices are utilized and repeated; from the use of a simile in her verbal description of a young guardian â€Å"His peel off is pale and looks unwholesomely tender, like the skin under a scab.” [p31] to the use of repetition to emphasize points. â€Å"I am, I am. I am, steady.” [p 293] â€Å"Her daub, her fault, her fault” [p82]. As Angela Carter, an English storyist once express â€Å"Language is power” and in this respect, Offred has big(p) power in a patriarchal society.\r\nThe power of language is not all that Offred posses . The characterization of her relations with males in the impudent is also important to the notions of power and sex activity. also to language, sexuality is heavily controlled and repressed in Gilead, especially that of egg-producing(prenominal)s. The Handmaids (Of which Offred is) don in skirts that are â€Å"ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat twosome that extends over the breasts”[p18] with â€Å"sleeves that are full” [p18]. Her night-robe is also â€Å"long-sleeved even in summertime” [p201]. It is accepted that those within this community leave not have sex out front marriage nor express themselves through the degree of masturbation â€Å"They have no outlets now except themselves, and that’s a desecration” [p32] or pornographic mediums. â€Å"There are no more(prenominal)(prenominal) magazines, no more films, no more substitutes.” [p32]\r\nOffred exerts power in these repressed circumstances by passing against the conv ention of Gilead and embracing her feminine features. She takes an progressive role in resisting this subjugation by tempting the young Guardians. â€Å"I move my hips a little, feeling the full red skirt sway around me.” [p32] The osculate she engages in during a secret bouncing of scrabble with the Commander is also a reflection on the power of her sexuality and choice. The Commander, a high level male necessitys Offred to osculate him. â€Å"I want you to kiss me” [p149]. She is given the power in this situation, as she has the power to refuse. The power which Offred, as a woman, has in this oppressed society cod to her sexuality is an important issue.\r\nThe notion of choice, specifically extrinsic choice is demonstrated with the Commanders want for a kiss is also evident in new(prenominal) parts of the text. excerpt is power and she unendingly has some choice. The image of existentialism is valid here †she incessantly has self determination, even if under duress. If she does not wish to bridle a Handmaid she could depart for the colonies and become an Unwoman, â€Å"…shipped of to the Colonies with the Unwomen.” where she would have the power of autonomy. The Mayday resistance is also a choice made by Offred. She is asked by Ofglen to bet the Commanders room, to give information to the resistance, but she chooses not to. â€Å"You could go into his room at night, she says.” [p282]\r\nOpting to stay as she is, content with her relationship with chip, she exerts power to say no. Jezebels is also some otherwise option, when visiting there with the Commander he offers for her to stay there â€Å"You might even prefer it yourself, to what you’ve got.” [p250] She is aware of the decisions which she can acquire in these situations, â€Å"There wasn’t a lot of choice, but there was some and this is what I chose.” [p105] It is through this characterization which her power lies.\r\ nIn addition to these choices Offred along with other females have subjective choices and power, being a female with ‘viable ovaries’ they have the efficacy to reproduce. In Gileadean society this gives them a gigantic power advantage due to declining endure rates and increased infertility, sterility and genetically mutated babies. â€Å"…a graph, showing the birth rate per thousand, for years and years: a slithery slope, down past the zero line of replacement.” [p123] Ironically, it is due to this power advantage that they are suppressed. Suicide is also another intrinsic power which all characters in this novel possess, although, its characterization in the Handmaids is the most prominent. The world that suicide is an ultimate bid for independence and exertion of power is an understood learning of characters within The Handmaid’s relation.\r\nThe removal of all objects which could be used to detriment oneself from the Handmaid’s rooms portrays this. â€Å"I know why there is no glass, in front of the water-coloured picture of spicy irises, and why the window precisely opens part and why the glass is shatterproof. It isn’t ravel away they’re afraid of.” [p17] as well as Offred’s musings when she believes she pass on be captured. The notion of suicide becomes very real to her as a means of escape and power. â€Å"I could noose the butt sheet round my neck, hook myself up in the closet and throw my pitch forward,” [p304] These intrinsic powers exist within the characters of The Handmaid’s Tale, the help form the society of Gilead and show the possible choices which can be made by its citizens.\r\nMoira is an embodiment of the power which females hold in Gilead. She epitomizes those who fought back and were not completely obliterated. She lives on the outskirts of Gilead and rejects its values whilst still existing as an institutionalized parting of the society . â€Å"[in relation to her clothing] Government issue.” [p254] She chooses the alternative form to Offred. Moira fled the red center, succeeding on her present moment try. â€Å"Moira has escaped” [p140] â€Å"Moira didn’t reappear.” [p143] â€Å"So here I am. They even give you represent cream.” [p261] She exists in an outreach of the government, under the power of the patriarchy, and withal doesn’t suppress herself to the point which other females within The Handmaid’s Tale do. She still engages in homosexual acts, â€Å"…it’s not so bad, there’s lots of women around. Butch paradise, you might call it.” [p261] cigarettes, and implied absorbing and drugs. . â€Å"…and there’s drink and drugs, if you want it.” [p261] â€Å"You want a cig?” [p255] Moira’s characterization holds power in this society, in particular over herself and her wants and needs.\r\nThe control of wants and needs is a way in which this society functions. It is a patriarchy which suppresses all women and most men, though men have inherently more rights. This is exemplified through the character of Nick. The characterization of him is ill-advised by nature. In hierarchal terms, Nick has little power. He is a menial level guardian without even an Econowife. â€Å"He lives here, in the household, over the garage. Low stats: he hasn’t been issued a woman, not one.” [p27] He is perceived by those in power to have little of it. â€Å"He doesn’t rate.” [p27] In reality, he has power. â€Å"He has chasms of impalpable power. He has knowledge of Mayday either due to his involvement in it or the eye â€Å"It’s all right. It’s Mayday. Go with them” [p305] â€Å"Nick, the private Eye.” [p305] and has access to the black market.\r\nâ€Å"He has a cigarette stuck in the nook of his mouth, which shows that he too has something he can trade on the black market.” [p27] He manages to engage in a tangible and emotional relationship with Offred whilst still maintaining the pretence of faithful Gileadean citizen though even then, the only reason he able to opening this relationship was due to the Commander’s Wife ordering him to bed with Offred. â€Å"‘I was thinking of Nick’, she says and her voice is more or less soft.” [p216] The idea the he influenced this engagement is always a possibility however, as he has initiated contact with her prior to that. â€Å"Then he winks.” [p28] The power which Nick holds in this novel is that of intangibility. His power is never outright stated, but the implications of it are visible.\r\nThis is a stark occupation to the tangible power displayed in Commander Fred. The characterization conveyed through him shows he is a strong public figure and whitethorn have even orchestrated the creation of Gilead. â€Å"We’ve given them m ore than we’ve taken away.” [p231] Which, in a way makes him the creator of his own demise as he too is suppressed by the patriarchy; he is not having his emotional needs met, and thus has to search elsewhere. In doing this he gives power to someone else in order to forgather these needs, this apparent when he asks Offred to his study at night to play scrabble. â€Å"I’d like you to play a risque of scrabble with me” [p148] Despite this, he frame locked in traditional beliefs about gender â€Å"all we’ve done is return to personality’s norm.” [p232] and his power is a impression of his male gender.\r\nGender and power are integral parts of the society visualised in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, as with any society. Understandings surrounding these issues are found within this novel. The characters within Gilead incubate with the different forms of power which they encounter, including that of language, sex , choice, intrinsic and extrinsic notions and the effect of a dystopic patriarchal society has on its citizens. These forms of power are explored through the characterization of both male and female characters. Overall, The Handmaid’s Tale intertwines the issues of gender and power expertly and her constructed characters carry for the notions of power contained within the text with ease.\r\nBibliography\r\nThe Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood\r\n'

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