Misogynistic Societies

902 words 4 pages
Misogynistic Societies

Although written in different time periods and in dissimilar settings, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy are both feminist novels with main characters who are suppressed by their societies. Misogyny is fully apparent in both novels, and both Offred and Tess utilize similar means to endure their harsh societies. A misogynistic society is clearly depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale. In Offred’s society, the handmaids’ only role in society is becoming pregnant. When Offred is going to the Commander’s house, she states, “We are two-legged wombs, that’s all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices” (Atwood 136). Because the Republic of Gilead is suffering from low
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When Marian and Izz how miserable Tess is when Angel has left, they stick by her and write an anonymous letter to Angel telling him that Tess loves him and he should come back to her if he loves her, because there is an enemy nearby (Hardy 383). Although all three girls love Angel, they step aside when they realize how much Angel really cares for Tess, even if doing so lead to self-destructive behavior. Additionally, Tess and Offred both attempt to resolve their problems with their past lives. “Lying in bed, with Luke, his hand on my rounded belly. The three of us, in bed, she kicking, turning over within me” (Atwood 103). Offred constantly thinks about Luke and her daughter to remember the happy times in her former life. She tries everyday to remember her family, because it is gradually getting harder to remember the life she had before Gilead. Tess is also always thinking of her past, which constantly reminds her of her sins and because of these terrible memories, she keeps from making the same mistake. When Tess walks by the sign painter, he has a sign that reads: “THY, DAMNATION, SLUMBERETH NOT” (Hardy 95). Such as this sign, throughout the whole novel, Tess is constantly reminded of her wrongdoings, which helps her become a better person. The Handmaid’s Tale and Tess of the D’Urbervilles contain misogynistic societies in which females are treated as objects. Offred and Tess


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