The dystopia that is portrayed in "The Handmaid's Tale" was created by Margaret Atwood as a warning of the future, with reflections from the time she was living. The book was written in 1986, in the heart of the Reagan administration, and many new strides in technology had taken place, as well as the furthering of civil rights in America with the Equal Rights Amendment. Women's oppression had become much more systematic than blatant and personal, and Atwood shows this systematic oppression in a frightful way through the Republic of Gilead. Atwood's portrayal of the future is not necessarily accurate in a literal sense, but the fear of turning into a dystopian society, such as Gilead, that is rampant with pollution, government surveillance, and religious fundamentalism, is enough to make one contemplate where society is heading or whether it has already reached this point.
The idea of technology is quite pervasive throughout The Handmaid's Tale. It isn't necessarily in the foreground of the story, but is responsible for much of what had happened in the beginning and the formation of The Republic of Gilead. The first major signs of Gilead came about as women's rights were completely stripped. First their compucards were deactivated, and all of their money transferred to their husbands' accounts. Then it was made illegal for a woman to hold a job. This was all while the government was crashing and burning, and control by those with power became overwhelmingly fascist.
[...] It may be difficult to believe that such a thing could happen, but as Offred describes in The Handmaid's Tale, she is surprised at how quickly everyone forgets the way things were, and adopts the new code, changing completely, falling in line. This reality, is one that shouldn't be taken lightly. There is always the possibility, that if we keep treating the planet and each other the way that we do, drastic things could happen out of “necessity”. Works Cited Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. New York: Anchor Books, 1986. Print. Reagan, Ronald. “Remarks to Participants in the 1985 March for Life Rally”. Jan. 22, 1985. N.p. [...]
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