Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Handmaids Tale as a Biblical Allusion Essay -- Handmaids Tale Es

The Handmaid's Tale: A Biblical Allusion Imagine a country where choice is not a choice. Â  One is labeled by their age and economical status. Â  The deep red cloaks, the blue embroidered dresses, and the pinstriped attire are all uniforms to define a person's standing in society. Â  To be judged, not by beauty or personality or talents, but by the ability to procreate instead. To not believe in the Puritan religion is certain death. Â  To read or write is to die. Â  This definition is found to be true in the book, The Handmaid's Tale (1986) by Margaret Atwood. Â  It is a heartbreaking story of one young woman and her transformation into the Gilead society, the society described above. In the book, we meet Offred, the narrator of the story. Â  This story is not the first to create a society in which the only two important beliefs in a society are the ability to procreate and a strict belief in God. Â  It is seen several times in the Old Testament, the Bible. Â  The Biblical society is not as rigid as the Republic o f Gilead, which Margaret Atwood has built, but it is very similar. Â  The Handmaid's Tale holds several biblical allusions. The first biblical allusion is that of the Republic of Gilead. Â  Gilead is mentioned several times in the Bible as a place of fertile lands. Â  The Bible states, "To the east [the Israelites] occupied the land. . . , because their livestock had increased in Gilead" (Numbers 32:1, NIV) and "The [tribes], who led very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock" (1 Chronicles 5:9, NIV). Â  The Biblical land of Gilead was a land of prospering livestock. Â  Families and tribes came to Gilead because of the land's lush, green and fertile soil. Â  The Republic of Gilead was also... ...n individual, but each person is noticed only by the clothing that they wear. Imagine a country where the husband is the head of the family, and no other members of the household hold any rights at all. Â  Imagine a country where reading and writing are crimes punishable by death. Â  One can imagine, but no one can comprehend the pain and suffering and emotional death that one must acquire to live in a society such as the Republic of Gilead. This story of the future may very well be a story of the past; a story based upon principles found in the Bible, but taken so literally and enforced so strictly that the country becomes a theocracy to hate. Bibliography Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986. The NIV Study Bible. Barker, Kenneth: General Editor. Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Zondervan Corporation, 1995

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