The Hidden Truth Behind the Forms of Beauty in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale


  • Chalak Ghafoor Raouf Department of English, College of Language, University of Human Development, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Sara Rasul Namiq Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



women, post-modern age, forms of beauty, control


this paper theorizes the latest forms of the patriarchal control through analyzing Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The paper tries to assume that women in the post-modern age are no longer controlled through the traditional forms of control, but, they are controlled through the forms of beauty such as makeup, fashion, and plastic surgery. Instead of confining women at home, and oppressing them so as to control them, male-dominated societies nowadays are controlling women through beauty experts and their productions. Thus, women are no longer confined at home, and they are no longer oppressed, but, they are working side by side with their male counterparts, and making money just like them, but the problem is that they are spending their money on the forms of beauty. In this way, male societies give women a limited freedom as a key strategy for manipulation in the first step, and then, they try to keep them busy with the forms of beauty so as to make them remain under control. From the late nineteenth century to the post-modern age women have faced numerous challenges. They have been subdued and introverted by the male forms of power, but due to the Industrial Revolution, the technological advancement, and the two world wars, females have been able to open their eyes and see the reality around them. Though, even till this day they are living for the purpose of men and are becoming a symbol for pleasure and an ornament of decoration through the different forms of beauty. So, what this paper tries to do is to discover the hidden truths behind the forms of beauty, and theorize these forms as the latest tools of patriarchal control in the post-modern age.


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