The Gilead Woman Oppression in M. Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”

  • Donna Grace I. Cotejo


The status of woman in a distinct perspective is uplifted within a universal macrocosm of the Philippine conditions. The study analyzes the cultish oppressive portrayal of a woman in the Gilead social structure of the novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Specifically, it investigates the elements of woman oppression regarding the plot structure, the conflict-society vs. woman-imaging, the feminine-role characterization, (oppressed woman; the woman oppressors of a woman, and oppression defiant woman) and the collective image of the oppressed woman. It uses Qualitative Research which is Descriptive in method. The findings reveal that a woman-oppressive plot structure is definitely revealed supported by constant situations and actions that are cultish, cruel and oppressive to women; a woman’s image is totally marginalized, oppressed, and suppressed; the feminine-role characterization reveals the society’s women roles and functions as being oppressed, oppressors, and defiant to existing oppression; the woman’s collective image as dictated by their social expectations: marginalized, no freedom, being properties of the men and the state, powerless, submissive, passive, weak, sexually deprived, and suppressed; and indeed, Filipino-Gilead women in the society, in general, are marginalized, voiceless, powerless individuals who continue to fight against woman oppression. As proven by the analytical-verbal data, M. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale reveals cultish, oppressive portrayal of woman in the Gilead social structure.