In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, we are introduced to a dystopian patriarchal society named Gilead, where women are relegated to the roles of wife, servant, and surrogate. Although the men of Gilead have built this society with men at the top, the women of the novel show a surprising amount of agency within their own spheres of influence. So the question remains: who is really in control of Gilead? While men are certainly remain the figureheads of power in The Handmaid's Tale, we find that the women of the novel have copious influence within their own realms, but these little freedoms have made them complacent, and immune to the plights of their fellow women.
Yalen, Christopher M.
"Agent Red: Fashioning Agency in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale,"
Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/ojur/vol4/iss1/3