Female Oppression

Essay by kaitlynhill_ July 2014

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Strong women in oppressive societies are despised and punished within their societies as their strength intimidates ands challenges those with power. These women are evident across the following four texts. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood through Ofglen; 1984 by George Orwell through Julia; Never Let Me Go directed by Mark Romanek through Kathy and through Mrs Mallard in The Story Of An Hour by Kate Chopin. The common theme throughout these texts is how the characters strive in oppressive and controlling societies, therefore demonstrating the strength of hope and will power. However this does lead to the women being despised in their chosen society, once again testing how strong they truly are. The novels The Handmaid's Tale and 1984 are set in very similar dystopian societies, and within the novels, the reader witnesses the truly strong women not only surviving but, for a short while, thriving. These two women are Ofglen and Julia.

In The Handmaid's Tale, the protagonist forms a "relationship" with Ofglen, who appears to be a supporter of the Republic of Gilead. The protagonist Offred is an 'antihero', who attempts to merely survive the day to day experience of Gilead. Offred can't trust this new Handmaid, as for all she knows she could be a true believer. This is evident in the nasty comment she made about Ofglen during the first meeting, "She walks demurely, head down, red-gloved hands clasped in front, with short little steps like a trained pig's, on its hind legs," Offred hates the Gilead regime, however instead of rebelling against the system she tolerates it, and tries to survive, similar to the depressed Winston in 1984. Ofglen - a target of the Eyes - eventually reveals that she is an essential asset to the rebellion, proved in a conversation held between Offred...