The or their standing in the society. Throughout the

The contemporary American society is disconcerted by
an array of issues such as discrimination against minority groups, gender
inequality, poverty, and poor governance. All these concerns are explicitly
emphasized by various scholars in their works, and one of the most compelling
texts that sheds light on the contemporary American society is the “The Hand
Maid Tales” written by Margret Atwood. Atwood is aware of some of the problems
that affect her community, and she masterfully highlights these issues through
the application of various stylistic devices and one crucial literary component
that Atwood uses to advance her narrative is the use of satire. According to
the Oxford English Dictionary satire is defined as the use of humor, irony,
exaggeration or ridicule to expose or criticize people’s evil especially in the
setting of modern politics or topical issues (“Oxford English dictionary online”). Atwood tailors
her novel to be an effective satire as she allures her reader’s attention to
obnoxious, horrific and crude events, in the recent past and the contemporary
society, social trends, and how people behave and relate with one another.

Atwood highlights some of the most horrific and
abhorrent situations that unfold in the new dystopian society in which she
artistically uses satire to explain the implacable ideological perspectives of
the modern society. The author employs an array of strategies and limitations
that are aimed at maintaining the functionality of women, and the primary
objective of these systems is to guarantee that the leaders or the heads of the
created society are in a position to control women’s reproductive ability.
Similarly, men are also ranked based on the roles that they can perform or
their standing in the society. Throughout the novel, the author highlights that
women are unusually classified in the Gilead society, and this classification
is based on age, fertility, and marriage. A case in point, characters such as
Martha, and Cora underscore some of the challenges that women have to go
through in these societies. Cora states that women are treated differently
based on their social class and those that can bear children have the upper
hand when it comes to her community (Atwood 1.20).

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Likewise, In Chapter 5, Offred makes controversial
remarks after she sees an impregnated woman walking down the streets to
highlight the social positions that pregnant women hold in their society.
Offred states that the pregnant woman is “a magic presence to us, an object of
envy and desire, we covet her. She’s a flag on a hilltop, showing us what can
still be done: we too can be saved. (Atwood 5.18)” This statement paints a
clear picture of what the Gilead society seems like. In this society, a
pregnant woman is highly admired and the phrase “magic presence” is
artistically used by the author to show the importance and social class the
pregnant women have in the Gilead society. The Gilead society is guided by
explicit ideological perspectives which are promoted by the Church and the
government and according to the text women have a primary goal of bearing
children, and this is a viewpoint that is emphatically instilled by the Church.
Atwood details that Adam was not tricked by the evil one into eating the
forbidden fruit it was the fault of the woman, and as a result of her
infraction, she can only be saved by childbearing. In this instance, it is
apparent that women are handled as inferior to men, and their main aim is to
bear children.

In the modern society, women are subjected to inhumane
treatment where they are objectified and treated as subordinate to men. A case
in point, over the years women have been denied the fundamental right to own
property, have access to education and even in the professional setting men are
preferred to take up managerial positions as they are perceived to be better
leaders (Williamson
Moreover, these stereotypes are also manifested in the difference between the
salaries that both men and women earn. Atwood does an outstanding job of
highlighting the challenges that women face by portraying them as “incubators”
whose central role in the Gilead society is to bear children, and this
depiction highlights some of the figurative flaws that subsist in the modern

In the opening Chapter of the novel, Offred is denied
the freedom of speech which underlines some of the difficulties that handmaids
go through in their community. The fact that women are denied the freedom of
expression is emphasized when the writer asserts that women have “learned to
lip-read, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other’s
mouths. In this way, we exchanged names from bed to bed (Atwood 1.5-6).”  In Gilead, women do not have a voice, and
therefore, they cannot affect any change
in their society even though they live in deplorable conditions as they are
denied their fundamental rights. Atwood uses satire in her work to create consciousness
on some of the difficulties that women encounter in the contemporary society
and some of the things that need to be addressed to make the modern society a
progressive community. Discrimination against women is underscored by Offred
when she informs the audience that she had a different name which she does not
use because it is forbidden. Offred is coerced to take a different name, and
she has to convince herself that her previous name was a pain similar to a
telephone number.

Offred easily convinces herself of what is acceptable
in her society and the fact her identity is not admissible. Her belief goes on
to shows why she has a simple time changing her name. Atwood strives to show
that women in the modern society have been stripped their identity through the
use of socially constructed limitations which are commonly covered in the
community such as the fact that certain professions are not ideal for women and
the fact that women cannot hold certain positions in different occupations (Williamson 265). By changing
her name, Offred ends up feeling as though she has been annihilated from her
past encounters and she is now a shadow of her former self. Offred shows the
audiences some of the difficulties that she faces as a woman in her society and
her character sounds an emphatic warning to the audience in relation to how
women are treated and some of the things that need to be changed to avoid
having a society that mirrors Gilead.

In the modern society, women are treated as the angels
of any household whose central role is to take care of their homes and
families, and this is an attitude that results in a conservative society. The
purpose of women in the community is highlighted as that of paying close
attention to their husbands, and unintellectual animals whose primary objective
in life is to ensure that they have social engagements. Atwood employs satire
so that the audience can detest this kind of society and move towards the
establishment of a better society in which women are treated with respect and
provided with equal opportunities to their male counterparts.

In conclusion, women are treated dismally throughout
this novel and not only by men, and this is an issue that can be highlighted in
the modern society especially concerning gender-based discrimination, and the
exploitation of women. In the Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood does an exceptional job
of bringing awareness about some of the challenges that women have to go
through in any society. Although this is the case, Atwood uses satire to explain
the subject matter as she depicts many things in an exaggerated fashion. The
account tells a powerful story about some of the challenges that women go
through in their societies, but the author does so in an extravagant way.
Consequently, the Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood is referred to as a
“scathing satire and a dire warning” because the author artistically uses
satire to highlight some of the critical underlying issues that need to be
addressed such as equality between the sexes and the role of women in the
society. Atwood cautions that the contemporary community might end up becoming
like Gilead where women are objectified and viewed as inferior to men if women
are not treated as equal to men. The modern society should embrace equality
between men and women and respect for every person and not just for men as it
is only through this that the contemporary society can be truly progressive.