Forgot your password?  

The Handmaid's Tale Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Handmaid's Tale.
This section contains 1,067 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide

Themes

Sex Roles

The roles that are assigned to the two genders in this novel are exaggerations of the roles traditionally played: women here are responsible for domestic duties and men in Gilead run the government functions (since this is a totalitarian state, business and military concerns are part of the government). To most of the people of Gilead, the strict assignment of these roles seems reasonable, a natural outcome of the physical traits that define males and females.

Industrial pollution has caused sterility in ninety-nine percent of the female population and countless numbers of the males, creating a crisis for the ability of the human race to survive into the future. From this the government had claimed the right to require any fertile females to participate in government-supervised child-bearing programs. This has caused a need to keep all non-fertile females in structured domestic roles, in order to assure the...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 1,067 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide
Copyrights
The Handmaid's Tale from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook