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Word Count: 1,627
Margaret Atwoods controversial dystopian novel The Handmaids Tale leaves the reader with the lingering question of what if Set in the near future what is known to be the United States is overtaken by puritan conservative Christians creating the Republic of Gilead Assasinating the President and congress this religious extremist movement suspended the constitution and took complete control over the government Women in Gilead lost their rights and served only one purpose for reproduction A large population of the women were infertile due to previous constant exposure to pesticides nuclear waste and leakages from chemical weapons They were either labelled Unwoman and sent to Colonies to clean up toxic wastes or be house servants Marthas The small number which made up the fertile population were taken to camps where training to become handmaidens for the upper-class people took place The women of Gilead were denied all basic human rights and although the main focus of this novel is of what may occur in our future The Handmaids Tale is an extension of the patriarchal societies of our past and of those which are of existence today In the Republic of Gilead the women were stripped entirely of their freedom and identity Unlike some of the men they loose the right to work outside the home or even go out Their only outing is for daily grocery shopping and mandatory attendance at public events The women have no say in the choices of daily life such as what to wear or eat who to be friends with or the choice of sexual partners Shall one be impregnated she has no choice of having an abortion nor the right to claim ownership of the child The women have no real identities for what they wore and where they stood in society was who they were The handmaids were distinguished by their fairytale figure in a red cloak Atwood 9 and served only for the purpose of reproduction
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