Themes

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood explores a range of themes, which you can read about on the following pages.

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The Gilead regime is aware that the Handmaids are oppressed to such a degree that they often have mental breakdowns or try to commit suicide. They try to find ways to let the Handmaids occasionally express their frustrations in a carefully controlled environment. For example, they invite the Handmaids to take part in “Particicutions”, where they execute a man accused of crimes against women by tearing him apart with their bare hands. In the epilogue, the Professor studying Gilead explains “it was not only a particularly horrifying and effective way of ridding yourself of subversive elements, but that it would also act as a steam valve for the female elements in Gilead.” (Chapter 47, 69%)...

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