Society's Views on Family Values and Children as Reflected in the novel "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, January 1996

download word file, 5 pages 2.6

Downloaded 100 times

In the olden days, religion and politics went hand in hand. The church either ran

the land or had a strangle hold on the people. If the church thought there was one way to

do something, one had to do as the church requested or suffer great penalty. To go

against the church was to go against God, and that meant death. The king was supposed

to be chosen by God to rule the people in the way he commanded. The king was the

closest thing to God on earth. Monarchs generally ruled hand in hand with the church.

As the monarchy's rein started to come to an end, the church's tight grip on the citizens

slowly started to loosen. With the implication of democracy, the church lost all real

power to make laws and actually govern the people. The church still held power over

peoples' morals, but without the monarchy's to enforce it the church's found their power

decreasing. In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, the government and the church

are interchangeable. The government is what used to be called the church, they have

come together to become one unit of power. The power of a modern day government

with all the knowledge and weapons combined with the fanaticism of a medieval based

church create a dictatorship like none other. The novel deals with the treatment of

children harshly for a society which views children as their last hope, their most valuable

commodity. Children are taken away from their homes to be given to the privileged, and

women are forced to give birth to babies they can not keep. The society of Gilead takes

the views of a traditional religious monarchy and enforces them with modern day power.

In the novel The Handmaid's Tale, there is a...