Deconstruction - Danica

The first question this passage raises concerns the children that are considered immoral. These children were born from what were adulterous marriages. However, if they are immoral, why were they allowed to be adopted by other couples of the upper echelon, and did the race of these children ever have anything to do with whether or not they were immoral? This inconsistency is actually something that is evident throughout the novel, as other questions asking similar things arise later in the passage.

One of the most prominent questions that persists throughout the novel is whether or not the government is truly religious, or if they use religion simply as a means of controlling their people. From the “Particicution” passage, this very question is raised when one considers the fact that the way the government operates does not accurately follow the New Testament, but rather the Old Testament. More evidence of this is stated in this passage, in which it is stated that Gilead replaced “the serial polygamy common in the pre-Gilead period with the older form of simultaneous polygamy practiced both in early Old Testament times.”

This can be interpreted as the government picking and choosing what religion to follow, so that it will benefit them the most. Since polygamy is beneficial to Gilead’s society and the way the prioritize reproduction above all else, it is very likely that they purposely decided to use the Old Testament in order to persuade and control their population using religion.

Finally, the third implication that the government only uses religion to maintain their power can be considered upon analyzing the three “child birth services” that are listed: artificial insemination, fertility clinics, and surrogate mothers. As stated in the passage, “Gilead outlawed the first two as irreligious but legitimized.” Should the government really be a theocracy, one would think that if something is considered irreligious, it should be forbidden altogether. This is yet another inconsistency between what the government claims to be and how they make their rules.

The government may appear to be making logical decisions, but just by taking a moment to consider that it should be a theocracy, it is suddenly made evident that a lot of their decisions do not appear to match up with what they supposedly believe in, and the ideals they force onto their people.

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