The most ironic thing is that women who were engaged in an affair with married men prior to the establishment of Gilead are punished and become Handmaids, but engaging in extramarital intercourse with a Handmaid for the sake of childbearing is somehow legal.
That being said, the Commander even takes the Handmaid to a brothel and has sensual intercourse with her aside from the Ceremony and even retains books and dresses and makeup from before Gilead. The Commander being the elite of Gilead always had answers like the fact that he is lonely or that it was simply alright for some people to retain illegal things.
Freedom is one of the main themes that Gilead twists to establish its theocracy.
One of the Aunts brainwashes the handmaids into thinking that they actually have freedom, but of a different kind. There is a distinction between freedom to and freedom from.
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Freedom to means liberty to do whatever you want and according the Aunt, that is pre-Gilead freedom where women ended up being raped or harassed or hurt. Instead the Aunt suggests that Gilead offers a freedom from all those things.
Essentially Gilead appears to be the savior who put these women in this strict confinement so that they are safe from all the harm of freedom. The eyes in any dystopian novel often resemble surveillance. By limiting the number of words in use, and circumscribing their meanings, the intended effect of Newspeak, the appendix explains, was to render thoughts or ideas that were in opposition to the regime literally unthinkable.
SparkNotes: The Handmaid’s Tale
It does not succeed in its project: the appendix is written in sure-handed, rigorous Oldspeak. In the second installment of a political discussion series with the Public Theatre, David Remnick examines what it means to tell truth to power with a group of journalists and artists.
Serena joy, the wife of the commander was a strong advocate for submissive female roles before the war and before the formation of Gilead. The creation of Gilead has lead Serena Joy to become a housewife.
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Before the Formation of Gilead, Serena joy used to be a preacher, She emphasized how woman should stay home and how they belong at home. Serena joy was once a very powerful woman but due to the fact that she cannot reproduce she has very little purpose in society, which begins to create jealousy over Offred who is fertile.
Serena feels very resentful over Offred as she has the chance to reproduce and that she is having a sexual relationship with her husband. Serena is forbidden to show any resentful behaviour and must show only gratitude and acceptance towards Offred otherwise her actions would be punishable.
The effect of negativity towards someone else is highly forbidden as it creates conflict and any social interaction is illegal and will result in severe consequences. The amount of fear the Gilead produces over its society is the key factor to keeping control over them. In Gilead, Women are stripped of their pride. They are taken away and isolated from their families and loved ones.
Gilead uses this method as a strong method of torture as it leaves women with scared thoughts and broken hearts; inevitably this makes women very weak and desperate.
George Orwell 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay
Offred explains how her husband Luke and her child where taken away from her when they tried escaping the new society. We learn how effective this method of torture is by how Offred is haunted by the thoughts of her daughter and Gilead strictly forbids her to feel any form of emotion; this puts Offred in constant risk especially due to the fact that she suffers throughout the whole novel. In Gilead you are forbidden to be seen in public unsupervised, thus you are forced to be paired with a stranger.
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