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What does the Handmaid's Tale contribute to the debate over

What does the Handmaid's Tale contribute to the debate over women's positions in society today?
Throughout the Handmaid's Tale there is a connection between women's roles in our society today and that of how they are perceived in the novel. All of the different roles in society are shown for example housewife, mother, prostitute, feminist in the novel but are more emphasised and instead of the multi-roles that many women take on today mostly by choice, the women in Gilead have theirs forced upon them and that is the single role that they must stay in.
The Martha's in the Handmaid's Tale are the stereotypical housewife; they do the Commanders cooking, shopping and even bath'Offred'. They are in contrast with a typical 1950's housewife who stayed at home and looked after the children which is also a job of the Martha when a child is born'she wants a little child so spoil in the kitchen, to iron clothes for, to slip cookies into'.
The wives seem to be just for show; there is no pacific reason for their role apart from the fact that they are simply the wives of the commander'Or knitting scarves…. maybe it's just something to keep the Wives busy, to give them a sense of purpose.' They mostly seem to be middle-aged'because of her arthritis' and unable to breed, hence the handmaids. This could seem to be a comparison to modern day'trophy wives' usually attractive young women whose husbands marry purely based on their appearance therefore basically to show them off.
The Handmaid's are basically there for breeding only. Their identity has been stripped as they take on the name of their commander e.g.'Offred','Ofglen','Ofwarren'. This is also a tradition in modern society however as when a woman marries she usually takes upon the surname of her husband and loses her own, family name. The Han…


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