Throughout history, leaders have assumed dictatorial powers and used fear to establish their power to maintain control over their people. They have used military power, spies, cameras and other means to force their people to obey them. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, describes such a society known as The Republic of Gilead. The dictator enforced his power by all means necessary; including torture, fear, and even death. The rules in the New Republic of Gilead were described as the words of God. A society was created with a large number of powerless females. These women were called handmaids and forbidden from communicating with each other or enjoying any freedom; they abided by these restrictions out of fear of losing their lives. In order for a true utopian society to exist, there must be dictatorial leadership that evokes fear in its inhabitants. .
Religion plays a huge part in The Republic of Gilead. It is used to make citizens fear God because he would punish them. One of the laws that the new society followed was that the handmaids must obey their male partner. Throughout the book, the males took control over society, and took their religious practices to a new level by explaining that God is angry at his people. That fear lead to the Handmaids allowing the New republic of Gilead to use women only for reproducing children. Even though the handmaids were not highly regarded, society could not exist without reproducing children. Those who cannot reproduce were worthless and taken to be executed. The rationale behind this is from biblical times, when women were know to be "Transgressors"; women were only important for reproduction. "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved by childbearing" (221). This expresses how society saw women as corrupt, or unholy. That the only thing that made women important was that they produced children, that allowed the human population to grow.