Sep 01 2016

Is it Really a Man’s World?

Posted at 1:03 pm under Uncategorized

On the surface, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, seems to purely focus on the oppression of women in it’s fictional society. But upon delving deeper into the story, it’s obvious that not only are the women oppressed by the right-wing extremists of the novel, so are the men. Although the men are better off, as explained by the commander in one of the later chapters of the book, they are still deprived of choice, true emotion, love, and freedom. Atwood tends to describe male characters that are close to Offred in a more compassionate and sympathetic light as compared to other, unfamiliar men. It gives a more realistic and in-depth idea of what the men suffer in this society; it’s a double-edged sword. The commander is lonely, Nick seeks love and understanding, Luke has lost his family and is likely dead. While these men cling to their problems, they must also go through their daily life and perform their jobs in order to remain invisible in Gilead. When analyzing these characters, it’s clear that Atwood wanted to bring forth not only the societal issues of women, but of men as well. She brings the issue of men being denied true emotional freedom (in fear of being seen weak or effeminate) through her male characters in many scenes of the book.

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