"Basic Victim Positions" and the Women in Margaret Atwood's <em>The Handmaid's Tale</em>

  • Michael Foley University of Prince Edward Island

Abstract

In the light of Atwood's "Basic Victim Positions" as stated in Survival, the women in The Handmaid's Tale embody a wide spectrum of mental responses in the face of traditionalist oppression. Most interesting of all is the Narrator in her dynamic complexity. While the mental states of the others may be seen to constitute a kind of guidebook of recognizable but undesirable or unrealistic options, her honest, patient and courageous struggle for freedom and dignity, and her ultimate triumph through love and the power of words, redeem her earlier indifference and establish her as a woman who elicits not only compassion but respect.
Published
1990-04-01
Section
Original Research