Handmaid's Tale Power

406 Words2 Pages
The Relationship between Language and Power in Respect to Identity and Conformity. In The Handmaid’s Tale language and literacy have an enormous effect on the dystopian society. Nearly everyone's identity has been stripped away. The most powerful people have more privileges than some of the others, everyone has been renamed and repositioned. Women are grouped into classes Handmaids, Wifes, Marthas, and the Econowifes. The body and its functions especially the fertile female body have become more important than personality or education. This theme is represented by the fact that no character is represented by his or her real name. Even when the narrator refers to other characters from her past by a specific name, doesn't necessarily mean…show more content…
The Handmaids are worse than most. They are confined to their bedrooms except for routine stops to grocery stores, childbirthing Ceremonies, and executions. They are trapped by their low social statuses and their fertile bodies. Handmaids barely get to do anything. If Handmaids become pregnant by their Commanders their reward is not being sent off to die. When they do get pregnant they're forced to give birth to children they don't get to keep, and fathered by men they don't love. The production of children has become Gilead's goal, governing every aspect of life. Birth mothers must produce babies or they get a death sentence, but they don't get to keep their children. Women are not supposed to use their minds in The Handmaids Tale. They're forbidden from reading, working outside the home, or spending money. The small bunch who are fertile are forced to become baby making machines. Women no longer have any financial or social power. In order to survive in Gilead, characters have to be brand new so to speak. They have to be willing to take on new names and go where they're told. They can't complain if their children are taken from them or cry over their loved ones. Acting out, even by doing something as seemingly harmless as reading, results in brutal punishment or even
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