Thesis-the control undermines the place of women in Gilead

Have you ever heard of “walking wombs?” Well this is how i feel women come across in the book, that Women are only here to bread. But as shown in Margaret Atwoods 1985 influential novel the Handmaids tale presents an issue of the control of women. Although the women have no basic human rights, they have much more power than one would think.
In the book Offred appears to be a helpless, sex slave controlled by the government, she sneakily uses her sexuality to gain power and control over her placement at the commander’s home, the commander himself and power over herself. In my reveiw i will talk about language such as to create control in the gilead, language is restricted by the government, women are defined by their roles as wives, handmaids or Marthas whereas men are labelled by their military rank. How the Gillead enforces control amongst those living in the state through separating sexuality from sex. And how the commander is like a god, he has control over there movement.


point one-language

to create control in the gilead, language is restricted by the government. tlk about the title system where woman are defined by there rolesas wives, handmaids, or marthas but men labelled by there milliatary rank.

restricted to freedom of thought, their freedom of language is limited

what is a handmaids an what do they say

point two-sexuality(there bodies)

Gillead enforces control amongst those living in the state through seperating sexuality from sex.

Hnadmaids bodies are completly cloacked “the skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breats, the sleeves are full. the white wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us from seeing, but also from being seen. i never looked good in red, its just not my colour.”

Atwoods intent allows the reader to see similarities and relate to glorivale talk about how its same in what they wear

Women have been stripped of their rights and are used for their uterus’ to re-populate the world

Point three-movment commander has control over what they do he is like the god

use quotes and state  The Republic of Gilead is based ….

The Republic of Gilead is based ….

fear of not being pregnant fear of never seeing daughter or partner again fear of being banished to the colonies

links similarities through the novel to present society and showing her intent of how possible this dystopian future is.

the handmaids talk helps us  with the control of women through the use of irony in the Gillard.

to create control in the Gilead, language is restricted by the government women are defined by their roles as wives, handmaids or Marthas whereas men are labelled by their military rank.

women don’t have freedom of speech

gilwad enforces control amongst those living in the state through separating sexuality from sex.

present society and the gilead

Offred uses her body and her sexuality to tease “sex starved” men. She gets attention and a feeling of rebellion from doing her best to look sexy, even in her large red cloak.

Therefore Offred’s sexuality and fertility is what gives her power and control over men .

The women of Gilead are severely deprived but still find ways to control people and posses power.
As demonstrated by Offred, The Aunts and by Serena Joy
Margaret Atwood is giving the world hope that even in a world of terrible misogyny and zero right’s for women, they will always have some power. link-



  • Control of women
  • The handmaid’s have to walk in pairs when going to the grocery store to do the daily shop. “we aren’t allowed to go there expect in twos. This is suppose to be for our protection. The truth is that she is my spy, as i am hers” (page 29)
  • The handmaid’s health is important so being feed good food is a priority and no alcohol nor drugs nor cigarettes are allowed for the protection if conceiving a baby. “to get you into the spirit of the place, how about a little drink, commander says . i’m not supposed to , as you know” (250 page)
  • The women are not allowed to read; the shop signs in town no longer have words on them and the commander reads the bible out loud to offred. “He inserts the key, opens the box, lifts out the bible, an ordinary copy, with black cover and gold-edged pages. He opens the book, begins to read” (pages 98-99)
  • “he stops at the foot, where the tattoo is, a cattle brand. It means ownership”
  • pg 187 “any account with a f on it instead of an m all they needed to do is to push a few buttons where cut off.
  • 180 – 192 where she talks about things changing
  • ‘the truth is that she is my spy, as i am hers.’ also use this for control of movement.
  • ‘the republic of gilliard said aunt lydia knows no bounds gilliard is within you’
  • where not each others anymore, instead i am his. 

In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, women are subjected to unthinkable oppression. Practically every aspect of their life is controlled, and they are taught to believe that their only purpose is to bear children for their commander. These “handmaids” are not allowed to read, write or speak freely. Any type of expression would be dangerous to the order of the Gilead’s strict society. They are conditioned to believe that they are safer in this new society. Women are supposedly no longer exploited or disrespected (pornography, rape, etc.) as they once were. Romantic relationships are strongly prohibited because involving emotion would defeat the handmaid’s sole purpose of reproducing. Of course not all women who were taken into Gilead believed right what was happening to their way of life. Through the process of storytelling, remembering, and rebellion, Offred and other handmaids cease to completely submit to Gilead’s repressive culture. Please see source-link for this excerpt. link-

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Lots of great planning, Georgie.
    Make sure you keep revisiting your thesis in your analysis.


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