Womanimality and Gender Polarity in Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments

Authors

  • Dr. Saeed Ur Rehman Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, University of Lahore, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Roshaan Khalid Lecturer, Department of English Language & Literature, University of Lahore, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47205/jdss.2022(3-III)22

Keywords:

Binarism, Fall, Naming, Objectification, Singularity, Ustopia

Abstract

This article focuses on the Western philosophical traditions responsible for objectifying women and animals. It looks at how Margaret Atwood has engaged with these issues in The Testaments, which is the sequel of The Handmaid’s Tale. The purpose of this study is to use a deconstructive approach to analyse sexual differences through animal differences. Animals and women have been standing at the periphery since the start of western civilisation. Animal and gender metaphors play a significant role in creating these differences. In Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, handmaids have a problematic relationship with this androcentric classification of women as animals. The reason behind this animal objectification is to make them realise their inferiority as women. The marked differences have utopian and dystopian characteristics; both parallel each other. Compared to these bifurcated images of life, Atwood imagines a post-utopian and dystopian reality that she names utopia. It connotes an idea of gift, love and democracy; there is no separation based on animal and sexual differences. The importance of language in the bifurcation of sexuality cannot be ignored, significantly when the name of handmaids is redefined according to the patriarchal perspective. The politics of naming is connected with the myth of creation; commanders and aunts consider naming women a patriarchal prerogative. Significantly, these sexual differences discourage multiplicity and promote singularity in the dystopian state of Gilead.

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Published

30-09-2022

Details

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    PDF Downloads: 59

How to Cite

Rehman, S. U., & Khalid, R. (2022). Womanimality and Gender Polarity in Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. Journal of Development and Social Sciences, 3(3), 219–227. https://doi.org/10.47205/jdss.2022(3-III)22