The Handmaid's Tale

A belief which is true or in accordance with fact or reality is most commonly known as the truth. A regard that something is held to deserve an extent of importance as well as worth is considered a value. These two contrasting terminologies are the basis of what an individual’s life revolves around. Although truth holds more worth in the contemporary world, representing reality through upheld values can be more favourable at times where an individual needs to “move on”. Throughout “The Handmaid’s Tale” , by Margaret Atwood, through the introduction of a “new society”, the valuation of power, sexuality, and the place of the individual in society are held really high, whereas the truth of such aspects respectively, is held as a misdemeanour. The new regime of Gilead was formed in order to protect those whom it harms the most; though the values before the new regime were flawed, the Gileadian utopia itself, contains its own failings.

The presence and manipulation of the valued power was seen throughout Offred’s entire narration. In the pre-Gileadian society, people gave consent to be governed and therefore had an interest in maintaining the structure of society. However, in the society that Offred currently lives in as a Handmaid, power is imposed directly from the top as it is a complete theocratic dictatorship. There is no possibility of appeal, nor is there any method of legally protecting oneself from the government, and there is certainly no hope that an outside power will intervene. In the current regime of Gilead, the government must cover the streets as well as individual homes with security such as guards and guns. “Guns were for the guards, specially picked from

Harsh Bhatt The Handmaid’s Tale - Essay Nov. 12. 2014 English 20-1, Mr Young the Angels.” (pg.4). The truth however is that instead of creating a safer environment for its citizens, this constant possibility of surveillance by the Gileadian government creates a significant amount of isolation...