In handmaid. She must visit the doctor

In today’s society everyone has freedom, we get to go anywhere and say anything we want. Life today is a dream to some. Unfortunately, the main character in Margaret Atwood’s novel “Handmaid’s Tale” freedom is dream. Offred is a handmaid in a totalitarian state that have dangerously low reproduction rates, she is required to bear children for higher class couples that cannot conceive. Throughout the story Offred is treated like a slave, she must serve the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy. While being a handmaid, Offred does not have the freedom to things like a normal person does. Offred’s life is in a restrictive routine, she must take daily shopping trips with Ofglen, another handmaid. She must visit the doctor several times to be checked for diseases and for other problems. She must also endure the “Ceremony”, where the Commander reads the bible to the whole house then the Commander, the wife, and Offred go into the bedroom. That is where the Commander has sex with Offred while the wife lays behind Offred and holds her hands. Offred has no choice in this matter. While she lays in bed with the husband and wife, her mind wanders. There are multiple times throughout the novel where, Offred’s minds slips back to flashbacks where her life was much simpler and when she had freedom over her own decisions. I would like to believe this is a story I’m telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance. If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off (Atwood 39).Offred likes to go back and tell about the life that she had before she was a handmaid, back to when she was married and had a family. When the reader gets insight on Offred’s past life, there is a clear divide in what life was like before Offred was forced into the new society. The reader also knows that Offred has no clue what happened to her family and whether she will ever see them again. In this passage, the reader gets a peek at Offred’s need to have control over her own life. She knows she is telling her own story and has to believe that she has control over her own ending. Along with the tragic loss of her family, Offred does not have any personal items, because she is more of a servant than a person. Therefore, everything she once had, when she was free citizen in a different society, she does not anymore — it has all been taken from her.  I don’t have a lot of things anymore, the clothes and hair. I wonder what happened to all our things. Looted, dumped out, carried away. Confiscated.I’ve learned to do without a lot of things. If you have a lot of things, said Aunt Lydia, you get too attached to this material world and forget about spiritual values (Atwood 64). This passage shows both the change in society and the little freedom that women have, especially women in roles like Offred’s. Women are not valued and are expected to be conservative and play the roles assigned to them. With that, personal belongings are not needed, according to the government. Women in Handmaid’s Tale are not talked about and valued. The women in the society that Atwood created, do as they are told and they live by the rules. In chapter five, Aunt Lydia says to Offred; There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it. (Atwood 24)Aunt Lydia tells Offred to not take the freedom she has for granted because things could be a lot worse. She also gives Offred insight on the different types of freedom that she has. While she once had freedom to do as she pleased, she now only has freedom from. Freedom from, is defined as having protection and security from men. Aunt Lydia must of seen the “days of anarchy” where women were not protected. So men were allowed to do anything to the women like call women rude things, or touch them inappropriate things. This is one of new societies reasoning behind restrictions on communication, roles, and other aspects of life.Now we walk along the same street, in red pairs, and no man shouts obscenities at us, speaks to us, touches us. No one whistles. (Atwood 25)The freedom from, can be good but also be a bad thing because women are protected and out of harm’s way but it will be hard for women to find a husband and the sex becomes very sacred. Men have less restrictions than women do in this society due to the low reproduction rates. Offred describes how the blame is put onto women. When Aunt Lydia describes to Offred the different types of freedom, she gives insight to what life may have been like for her. The reader knows that the society believes that women were objectified, therefore freedom from should tolerated and appreciated. In the Handmaid’s Tale, the women have no total freedom and no control over their own lives. They do not have a voice and are not allowed to do anything they want. Men will always have the upper hand in things so the women will always be controlled. Margaret Atwood, creates a society where women are not valued and used for specific roles.   

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