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Dystopian Elements in The Handmaids Tale

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Skylar Coakley

on 22 November 2015

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Transcript of Dystopian Elements in The Handmaids Tale

Dystopian Elements in The Handmaids Tale
Propaganda:
- State claims that this is better for the population as a whole.
- Declining birthrates = No people
- No people= Human exctinction
- Propaganda plays a roll in making the public scared.
Common View of Life:
- The people of Gilead believe that Women are to be used strictly for ovaries.
- Sex is not for Pleasure
- all pornography burned
- Being gay/lesbian is a sin (killed)
- Abortion is a sin
Hierarchical Society:
- Gilead is a strict hierarchical society
- Men at the top: Power and Political Positions
- i.e. Commanders & Guardians
- Rich Women in the Middle.
- i.e. Wives & Econowives
- Other women at Bottom.
- i.e. Handmaids, maids, chefs,& prostitutes.
Surveillance:
- Guardians
- Men (Usually younger) whom act like police officers
- Checkpoints
- Wherever you go, you have to give them a number to identify yourself as you enter/exit.
- Handmaids have to travel in twos
The Handmaids Tale Overview
- The United States is now The Republic of Gilead and is now a totalitarian and theocratic state.
- Major decline in Birth Rates.
- Women have very little, basically zero rights.
- I.E. No reading, Always watched, No say, Etc.
- The Commanders: Politicians/ MEN of Power
- The Wives: Commanders wives (usually infertile)
- The Handmaids: Women whom are fertile and must have intercourse with the commanders once a month to procreate.
nation-state ruled by an upper class with few democratic ideals:
- People, especailly women have no say
- Women have little no no rights.
- No democracy
Strict Conformity:
- Handmaids: Wear red dresses, veils, shoes, etc./ Always look down/ Follow government rules because they fear the colonies and death
- Wives: Wear blue/ Cliche housewives/ follow rules because their husbands are in power
Penal System:
- Salvagings
-The county meets up at an old college football football field and publically tortures men and women for their wrong doings.
- Punishments vary, depending on the crime you have commited.
- The remnants/bodies of the people are put on a wall in the city to remind people to obey the rules
Banishment:
- If handmaids are "used up" or infertile they are sent to The Colonies, which are said to be deadly to to toxic dumps and radiation spills.
Back Story:
- Staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremists) that kills the President and most of Congress.
- A movement called "Sons of Jacob" launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order.
- The government was weak and a theocracy took over.
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