To What Extent Does the Handmaid’s Tale Present the Future as a Feminine Dystopia?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ghopper
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To what extent does The Handmaid’s Tale present the future as a feminine dystopia?
A feminine dystopia imagines a world gone terribly wrong, exploring the most extreme possible consequences of current society’s problems. In a feminine dystopia, the inequality of society or oppression of women is exaggerated or intensified to highlight the need for change in contemporary society. The Handmaid’s Tale presents the future as this in many ways.
Chapter 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale presents the future as a feminine dystopia. Religion is brought up as Gilead is seen to be trying to purify the values of women, for example Offred is only allowed a single bed, the words “nothing takes place in the bed but sleep; or no sleep” highlight the fact that a bed is only for sleeping, to purify her. The reference to nunneries also suggests there is religion involved in Gilead, Offred states that “time here is measured by bells, as once in nunneries. As in nunneries too, there are few mirrors” this suggests sexual contact for the Handmaids, or anyone, is forbidden, and the use of the word “once” suggests that Offred is like a nun, or feels like a nun, out of a nunnery and in a house. Also in chapter 2, the role of the Handmaids is introduced; we learn they are needed for something very important, as they are not allowed to attempt to kill themselves as it is said that “they’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to.” Also Offred says “I am not being wasted.” This shows that the Handmaids are not allowed to be wasted as they have a purpose. The Handmaids are supposed to play very traditional female roles and are to have traditional female values. Altogether, chapter 2 presents the future as a feminine dystopia because it is shown that women have almost been taken back in time, to have traditional values and beliefs, and are to follow the role which the higher authority of Gilead makes…...

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