Within freedom should come security. Within security should come freedom. But in Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, it seems as though there is no in between. Atwood searches throughout the novel for a medium between the two, but in my eyes fails to give justice to a woman’s body image. Today’s society has created a fear of beauty and sexuality in this image. It is as though a beautiful woman can be just that, but if at the same time, if she is intelligent and motivated within acting as a sexual being, she is thought of as exploiting herself and her body. Atwood looks for a solution to this problem, but in my eyes fails to do so.
In the Handmaid’s Tale women are supposed to be more secure then they have ever been. Their bodies and their ability to reproduce are worshiped by society. Crimes against women have been erased. There is no longer rape, or domestic physical and mental violence against women. There is also no abortion. For women to exist in a space like this, one would think that they had the freedom to be powerful, strong women. Yet they are enslaved to this idea of being “protected.” Atwood tries to define a woman’s security as being powerful, but really she just contributes to the idea that women are incapable of taking care of and protecting themselves.
The novel also portrays a space where a woman’s body is something to fear and hide. “My nakedness is strange to me already. My body seems outdated. Did I really wear bathing suits at the beach? I did, without thought, amoung men, without caring that my legs, my arms, my thighs and back were on display, could be seen. Shameful, immodest. I avoid looking at my body, not so much because it’s shamefull or immodest but because I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to look at something that determines me so completely.”(P.63) Women fear their own bodies, they don’t love themselves. Which is unfortunate because having love for your body can create a very powerful space for a woman. When women learn to love themselves and their bodies and not fear what they can do with them, they gain self-esteem and confidence to do whatever it is they want to do.
A society such as this, defined as having a basis on women, truely, does not.
Free Native Son Essays: Society or Personal Responsibility
Native Son: Society or Personal Responsibility
‘Does society create people or do people create society.’ Does one’s surroundings create a person or does a society create that person’s surroundings, ultimately creating a fate for that person. There is a very interesting portrayal of this idea in a book called Native Son by Richard Wright. It gives one an inside look on how a young African-American man grows up in the 1930’s, how crime affects him and how his surroundings and society have created his life and fate.
Bigger Thomas, the young man who’s life is portrayed in this striking book, did not necessarily have homicide in his fate. However, throughout all the negative experiences Bigger has experienced, it is not surprising to one how he fell into his situation. Bigger grew up in poverty, without a father, with discrimination leaking from cracks in the walls of his family’s one room rat infested apartment. He grew up on the south side, the black area of town, where everyone lived in apartments such as his. This of course was not by choice but by white entrapment, and the oppression and slavery of African-American people and those morals and traditions which are still upheld in this country today.
This is not to say that it is completely society’s fault; it is everyone’s fault through neglecting the obvious. However, even through poverty the south side may have been able to come together to create a basis, a stable place for their children to grow up in. I am not blaming them, though. Racism was obviously rampant and it may have been impossible to come together when everyone was forced to put themselves first.
With the theories of racism and hate engrained into society, how easy could it be to break free of discrimination and make something of yourself? “Down here in Dixie we keep Negroes firmly in their places” (P.324). When so much effort is put into keeping people separate and hating someone, for whatever reason, it gives a person a reason not to care what happens to them in terms of their lives. If nobody else cares what you do, then why should you? I think this is what Bigger felt when he was growing up. I think he also saw white people as such a high power that he was unable to do anything about what he felt was wrong.