The Handmaid's Tale Essay

Words: 728
Pages: 3

Many notable people have debated the precarious balance between emotion and logic and the balance between freedom and security. Among these notable people, Margate Atwood must be included as she debates both themes impeccably. Margaret Atwood, through pages 219-220 of her satiric novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, examines the role of emotion and the fragile balance between freedom and security using literary devices to remind the reader of the subjective nature of the human experience. Firstly, Atwood unearths the appeal to emotion with which the mono-theocratic land of Gilead uses to captivate and neutralize their citizens. One such example occurs while a Commander is giving a speech at a Prayvaganza. During this speech, the Commander hastens to claim that “We’ve given them more than …show more content…
Towards the end of the Commanders speech, he makes two more claims, firstly, that all husbands were selfish and abusive, and secondly, that even if the husbands supported their wives, the end result was always abysmal for the child. Thus, the grave appeal to emotion is aimed at justifying the Gildean regime because the Gildean regime utilizes arranged relationships, which would eliminate the possibility of child abandonment. The totality of the Gildean’s extensive use of emotion can be seen in the Commander’s brief, biting comment: “Those years were just an anomaly, historically speaking … Just a fluke.” (Atwood 220) In this final comment, the Commander outright proclaims that the pre-Gildean era was not meant to exist. However, each emotionally charged statement the Commander makes is not true for all people. Thus, one must consider the subjective nature of emotional knowledge when confronted with a society that attempts to objectify