Paper Titles in Periodical
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
ILSHS Volume 49

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > ILSHS Volume 49 > The Study of Ideology in The Handmaids’ Tale Based...
< Back to Volume

The Study of Ideology in The Handmaids’ Tale Based on Althusser’s View

Full Text PDF


Ideology has always been the most vital apparatus for each government and dominant groups of society to keep their superior position so that every inferior subject could remain obedient and live like a programmed machine that is required to operate according to some fixed and rigid codes. Sometimes these codes are so apparent and tangible in the society that breaking them would result in sheer oppression such as impressment, exile and even execution. However in modern era the controlling and domination are not applied through force and physical attempts yet it does not mean it ceased to exist. The traditional ways of oppression are not extinct; yet they remain in new forms, tools and weapons which in Althusser’s terminology they are called RSA. Nevertheless there is another difference in modern time; it has been attempted to control the minds of people through other less vivid weapons. These weapons could poison the minds of subjects and control and train them in a way that dominant groups want without taking any violent action. This method of controlling mind is ISA in Althusser’s view. The handmaid’s tale (1988) mostly concerns with the ideology of ruling class and the way the ruling class shows the ideology to subjects by force and discourse shapes the way through which suppressed class perceives the world. The main character of this novel who is a woman is oppressed in different ways and her identity and believes are influenced by the ideology of the society consciously and unconsciously. Since the story takes place in Gilead as one small part of the world, it could be symbol of other societies and the analysis of that society can be extended to other parts of the world so this is a microcosmic study.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 49)
M. Moradi and F. AzizMohammadi, "The Study of Ideology in The Handmaids’ Tale Based on Althusser’s View", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 49, pp. 75-82, 2015
Online since:
March 2015

Althusser, Louise. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Trans. by Ben Brewster. London: Unwin Brothers Limited, the Gresham Press, (1971).

Althusser, Louise. For Marx. Trans. by Ben Brewster. London: The Penguin Press, (1969).

Althusser, Louise. Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-87. Trans. by G. M. Goshgarian. London: Verso, (2006).

Althusser, Louise. Politics and History: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hegel and Marx. Trans. by Ben Brewster. France: Presses Universitaires de France, Paris. (1970).

Althusser, Louise and Balibar, Étienne. Reading Capital (part 1). Trans. by Ben Brewster. France: Librairie François Maspero, (1970).

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Canada: McClelland and Stewart, (1980).

Bloom, Harold. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. NY: Infobase Publishing, (2004).

Brisha, M. L. Eileen. Ecofeminism and Politics of Triple Marginalization" in Atwood's The Handmaid, s Tale. Journal of Humanities and Social Science, (2004).

Fretterrer, Luke. Louis Althusser. New York: Routledge, (2006).

Howells, Coral Ann. The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood. USA: Cambridge University Press, (2006).

Lacassagne, Aurélie and Nieguth, Tim and Dépelteau, François. Investigating Shrek: Power, Identity, and Ideology. USA: Palgrave Macmillan, (2011).

Levine, Andrew. The American Ideology. New York: Routledge, (2004).

Macpherson, Heidi Slettedahl. The Cambridge Introduction to Margaret Atwood. NY: Cambridge University Press, (2010).

Wilfred, L. Guerin and Labor, Earle and Morgan, Lee and Reesman, Jeanne C. and Willingham, John R. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. NY: Oxford University Press, (1996).

Wolfreys, Julian. Introducing Literary Theories. Great Britain: Edinburgh University Press Ltd., (2001).

Wolfreys, Julian. Modern European Criticism and Theory. Great Britain: Edinburgh University Press Ltd., (2006).

Wolfreys, Julian and Robbins, Ruth and Womack, Kenneth . Key Concepts in Literary Theory. 2nd Edition. Great Britain: Edinburgh University Press Ltd., 2006. ( Received 14 February 2015; accepted 26 February 2015 ).

Show More Hide
Cited By:
This article has no citations.