Religion as a Tool of Control Essay
“Religion is definitely the sigh of the oppressed animal, the cardiovascular system of a heartless world, plus the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” (Marx 260).
This declaration implies that faith is a powerful concept that encourages people to accept all their conditions rather than revolting against their predicament. Indeed in the wrong hands, it can be perverted to justify countless atrocities and so be applied as a instrument of oppression. In her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood portrays a dystopian culture, a fictional republic called Gilead, whose rulers use the power of religion to validate their particular terrifying personal agenda.
She satirizes the political system that uses faith to validate the mandate, and justify it is more doubtful laws. Clearly the use of faith for political purposes is among the central topics of the novel; Atwood uses a set of fundamentalist religious morals followed by certain fringe elements in modern day society and takes these to their logical end to focus on their accurate despotic mother nature. In Gilead, politics and religion get hand in hand. The Sons of Jacob work with religion and psychological methods to control the masses and bend them to their will.
Consequently the republic makes extensive make use of religious limite for example domestic servants these are known as “Marthas” talking about a domestic character in the bible, the soldiers these are known as “Angels” even though the local authorities are the “Guardians of the Faith”. The lording it over government representatives are called the “Commanders of the Faithful”. Even the titles of purchasing stores have biblical referrals like Almost all Flesh, Dairy and Darling, Loaves and Fishes. The objective of this considerable use of biblical language is always to deceive the individuals of Gilead into believing that their particular rulers enact the will of God Him self.
Moreover the federal government only adopts certain areas of Christianity whilst it shuns those that it locates inconvenient. For example Aunt Lydia, a teacher to the handmaids, says “I’ve learned to perform without a large amount of things, you get too attached to this fabric world and forget spiritual values. You must cultivate poverty of nature. Blessed are definitely the meek. ” (Atwood 110) at this point in the novel Offred notes that Aunt Lydia says nothing at all about inheriting the Earth. Hence the republic used spiritual justification to demand placid behavior from your handmaids.
As a result religion can be used as a powerful political application in Gilead. Women enjoy a very limited role in Gilead’s society; biblical allusions are used to weaken their status. A Leader makes the following speech at the women’s prayvaganza. “Let the girl learn alone with all subjection. But My spouse and i suffer not only a woman to show, nor usurp authority over the man, but for be in silence.
For Mandsperson was first formed, then Event. And Hersker was not fooled, but the woman being robbed was in the transgression. In spite of she shall be saved simply by childbearing, if they continue in hope and charitable trust and holiness with sobriety. “(273) Therefore , by pulling an presentation from an individual biblical story the role of women is restricted to duplication. Moreover, in order to prevent the girls from obtaining libertarian, high-end ideas mass censorship occurs in Gilead. The country is definitely cut off from the outside world since it will not even let international tv set to be showed; Offred records this while you’re watching the television “Serena clicks the channel changer.
Waves, coloured zigzags, a garble of sound: it is the Montreal Satellite tv Station becoming blocked. “(101) Furthermore every books considered heretical by the republic will be burned and females are not permitted to read at all, the bible is stored under lock and important so that the Commanders can read away only individuals parts which have been prescribed by government. Offred’s commander reads the following passageway from the holy book on the day in the monthly wedding ceremony “Give me personally children, otherwise I perish. Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld via thee it of the womb? Behold my maid Bilhah.
She shall bear fruit upon my knees, that I might also have children by her. “(112) This kind of biblical story, narrated in the novel by the Commander, forms the basis of the concept of a handmaid this is why it is presented special significance in Gilead and it is as well another one of the archaic stories from the bible that are used to enforce extremely questionable requirements on females. Thus the women of Gilead are subjugated by a bended version of Christianity. Religious beliefs is supposed to emancipate man. However the Handmaid’s Tale depicts a society by which it is used to shackle people, to brainwash them, to force those to conform to a lifestyle permitted by their government.
Margaret Atwood examines the people residing in Gilead’s repressive society to rats caught in a web, she highlights “A verweis in a maze is free to go anywhere as long as it stays inside the maze”(363). In reality those that rebel to the proven norms happen to be dealt with harshly; they are reprimanded at a seudo-religious service called the Particicution, exactly where they are lynched to death by a mafia of women pertaining to false criminal offenses they did not really commit. Regarding this, the dissident handmaid, Ofglen comments “He wasn’t a rapist at all, he was a politics.
He was certainly one of ours. “(350) What this kind of entails would be that the society in the novel is highly autocratic and it does not allow the freedom of expression, actually it uses dread to control its citizens and induce their very own piety, while Offred notes “We need to look good from afar: picturesque, like Dutch milkmaids on a wallpaper frieze. Calming to the eye, the sight, the Eyes, for that’s who this kind of show is perfect for. We’re off to the Prayvaganza to demonstrate how obedient and pious were. ” (266) This shows the peoples’ inherent monomania, the fear to be found disloyal, that has been little by little cultivated into their hearts and minds.
Really the business defiles the true spirit of faith by heading against it is very substance: the religious liberation of mankind. The use of religion pertaining to political functions is one of the central themes in the novel; Atwood takes a set of religious beliefs followed by particular fringe elements in modern day society and takes those to their rational end to highlight their true despotic character. In conclusion, Maggie Atwood shows a terrible alternate reality in which faith based fundamentalists control and faith comes to determine every aspect of human being life.
The main topic of religion includes a lot of relevance in the new; in fact the novel serves as a alert against the extremist views held by many modern think reservoirs.