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The Handmaid

             This novel, by Margaret Atwood is extremely unique, as it explains a women's struggle for independence and wanting for a "normal" life. The themes that are expressed in this novel are the inability to accumulate wealth, propaganda, and the abolition of love.
             The theme of the inability to accumulate wealth aroused in this novel very frequently. There was no money used in Gilead, the town set in the future and fictional republic. Instead people purchased foods and other items with tokens. The inability to accumulate wealth means that it is impossible to rise from the lower class to the upper class. The handmaids in this story were actually like the black house slaves in the Southern States during the civil war. .
             Another theme covered in this novel is propaganda. The dictators who run Gilead maintain their power by the continual use of it. For example, in the camps for Handmaids, they modified biblical sayings to convince people that they should continue to support the dictatorship. There is no freedom of religion in Gilead, and only one freedom is allowed. The situation of Marthas in Gilead seems very similar to the situation of women in Afghanistan, when it was ruled by the Taliban. They have no right to an education and are only allowed to keep a house and act as servants.
             One of the most disturbing themes that Atwood created was the abolition of love. In Gilead, love is no longer a part of every day life. Sex is only allowed for the purpose of producing offspring. Upper-class men can impregnate Handmaids, but the absence of love ensures that this will not lead to a mixing of the classes. Offred's relationship with the general is really more of an employer/employee relationship without much emotion because of their differences in classes.

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