The Handmaid's Tale - Main themes

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  • The Handmaid's Tale - Main Themes
    • Gender roles
      • hierachical society
      • women who have positions of power are still not enough powerful
      • institutional adultery
    • Religion and theocracy
      • religion and state are combined
      • warping of the essential virtues like charity, tolerance and forgiveness
      • criticism of the way that people and theocracies use the bible for their own oppressive purposes
    • fertility
      • source of the Handmaid's captivity and their power
      • ideal of fertility in flower description and past with Luke
      • body's functions are valuable, but not personhood
    • Rebellion
      • disobedience against the regime
      • community minded - organized resistance
      • small - scale rebellions
      • to show the unlivable Gilead and the unsteadinessof its foundation
    • Love
      • daydream rather than to rebel
      • permits to certain characters to survive
      • most effective force for good
      • love is the best way to get around Gilead's rules
    • Story telling and Memory
      • framing the whole novel as a story
      • storytelling as a pastime
      • celebration of the past (Night chapters)

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