How does Margaret Atwood link the wall in The Handmaid's Tale to religion?

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The Wall that Offred passes on her way to the market dates back centuries. It links to religion because it is here that the state of Gilead hangs the bodies of people it considers to have violated Christian moral norms. These people have been ruthlessly executed for what the theocratic state has decided is their sin. Their dead bodies are a visible symbol of the moral power of Gilead and are used as a warning to others to toe the line. As Offred notes,

It doesn’t matter if we look. We’re supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the Wall.

She adds,

What we are supposed to feel towards these bodies is hatred and scorn.

On the day Offred makes that comment, the six hooded bodies dangling on the Wall are marked as former abortion doctors. On other days it might be sex traitors (homosexuals) caught in what is labelled "Gender Treachery." Catholic priests also end up on the Wall. Whatever the case, these are people perceived as a threat to the moral purity of the state.


(The entire section contains 4 answers and 970 words.)

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