Women in society used to have the power to read write vote work and do whatever else they wanted to. But gileadian women,especially Handmaids, have been stripped of all power they once had and are now forced to follow strict rules.
The Handmaid constantly looks back at how life used to be and cannot mentally adapt to how life is now. She used to be able to work, drive, vote, talk to whom ever she wished, go to school and Do whatever else she wanted. She was by no means high up in society but she was her own person and was able to make her own decisions and control her own life. Today, it's as if she's just an insignificant member, who was only put on this earth to further Gileadian population and then will be No longer be of use once she can no longer conceive a child. The Handmaids have been ...view middle of the document...
I was like that too, I did that too." (198). Offred used to take her power over herself as a right, not a privilege but now can see how she never appreciated that way of life.
The only true power Handmaids hold is their ability to conceive. There is a major infertility problem in Gilead and the people are having trouble sustaining its population. The handful of women that are able to conceive as child, the Handmaids, although hold no rights to do anything hold the greatest power in gileadian society; the power to continue its existence. The wives and other women have a deep jealousy of the Handmaids because it's as if they have failed as women. "As for my husband, she said, he's just that. My husband. I want that to be perfectly clear. Till death do us part. It's final." (36) serena joy wants to make it perfectly clear that Offred is only there to have a baby, but the commander is still hers. The Handmaid not only holds the power of having the commanders child, but she also holds another power over him. Because the commander wants the Handmaids body, time and company, he will do anything to make her happy. He gives her things such as lotion, magazines, a sparkly outfit and asks her to play scrabble - all of which were forbidden. in reality Handmaids had the more power than anyone else.
All rights the Handmaids once had we're taken away from them. They were forced to dress, speak, behave and live in a way that will keep them ignorant. The government believed taking away everything from Handmaids would keep them powerless. What they don't realize and the Handmaids don't even realize is that they hold the highest power in society because only they have to power to continue the existence of its people.