Gender Roles In The Handmaid's Tale

985 Words4 Pages
A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Professor Stephanie Al-Kasspoles and it is my pleasure to be speaking to you today at the Sydney Literature Festival about the notion of gender and the universal significance it holds to each and every individual. Gender is a social construct which permeates society, and can be mirrored through various texts which encompass such values from their social milieu. A strong reflection can be seen through Tennessee Williams ‘A streetcar named desire’ and Margret Atwood’s seminal text The Handmaid’s Tale’ which both communicate ideas on gender, reflecting thematic concerns associated. A Streetcar named Desire cleverly communicates the impression that men are viewed as more dominant figures in society than females. This message is established in the scene of the morning after Stanley physically abuses Stella. Stella is sprawled out in bed, her body language representing comfort in her state. This clearly contrasts the prior argument and exemplifies…show more content…
The development of an immovable society and increasing gender oppression at the time of publication, inspired Atwood to show attention through presenting Gilead as a society that does not tolerate difference. This idea is exemplified in the scene of the salvaging where collective pronouns such as “those” and “they” are used to emphasize the low regard given to women, mostly those who failed to commit to their gender role and are hence punished. Handmaids must place their hand on their heart as a symbol of their consent to the salvaging and acceptance to follow their gender expectations. Also, holding the rope in the salvaging metaphorically furthers the strain on the need to obey to the typical duties of a woman by demonstrating the consequences of going against
Open Document