Dictatorship In The Handmaid's Tale

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The Oppressive Economy of Babies George Orwell once said, “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” No one who seizes control has any intention to relinquish it. The sole result in a quest for power is power. It has no solution. The novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood takes place in a post-war United States of America where a new totalitarian state has taken control and replaced the previously democratic society with The Republic of Gilead. Unfortunately, the war that decimated the government also caused widespread infertility and the newest, most valuable commodity became babies. This made women the…show more content…
To start with, thorough the use of violent systematic oppression authorities robbed women of their freedom. Women could no longer live autonomously. This political repression persecuted women essentially to prevent women to take part in any aspect of politics within their society. They lost their voice to protest. When the dictatorship first formed, they began by taking away women’s rights to own property. Suddenly, women lost all of their money. Even Offred’s husband at the time, Luke, barely protested. She wondered, “He doesn't mind it at all. Maybe he even likes it. We are not each other’s, anymore. Instead, I am his” (Atwood, 163) Luke was not a man who was looking to seek control over the new state, but even he did not challenge when his own wife was losing her rights. This was a symptom that the institutionalized oppression had already begun to take place. The new policies in effect were being supported by the men in the society. Furthermore, not only did they take away a woman’s right to have value, but they took away her right to speak. No woman was allowed to write or read. Such freedom was restricted only to men. One day, though, while Offred was in a secret, illegal meeting with her…show more content…
The first step was by instilling a division of labour. The women were divided by their skills, fertility, and social functions. Next, they defined their status by their clothes. The Wives, those who were married to a commander, wore blue. The Marthas, those who were infertile household servants, wore green. The Handmaids, those whose only purpose was to produce offspring with a commander, wore red. And then there were, “some in the striped dresses, red and blue and green and cheap and skimpy, hat mark the women of the poorer men. Econowives, they’re called. These women are not divided into functions. They have to do everything; if they can.” (Atwood, 20). Prior to The Republic of Gilead, a person’s attire was a means to express their individuality. This freedom of expression was manipulated into a technique to consolidate the women’s separate identities into a single, defining trait; their purpose. This class system links a woman’s worth to her husband and to her fertility. This communication tactic may not seem significant, but by removing a woman’s ability to define herself, she also loses her own self-worth. She no longer feels like her body is her possession to control. Without a sense of entitlement to their own bodies, they do not protest when decisions are made without their consent. Lastly, there are the Aunts who wore brown. These women

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