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The motif of time is very evident in this section. Time, something are never ever thought much of before her brand-new life, is now an item she thinks of often. “There’s time to spare. This is among the important things I wasn’t gotten ready for– the quantity of unfilled time,” (Atwood 69). “In the afternoons we lay o our beds for an hour in the gymnasium … they were giving us a possibility to get used to blank time,” (70 ). “The clock ticks with its pendulum, keeping time my feet in their neat red shoes count the method down,” (79 ).
This motif demonstrates how much the lives’ of the females, including Offred’s, has actually altered. They are restricted from doing so much that the amount of spare time they have overwhelms them.
The Handmaid’s Tale has many connections to 1984 by George Orwell. One connection is that in both stories, one can not be sure whether what the government says holds true or not.
“Who understands if any of [the news] holds true? It could be old clips, it could be faked … Any news, now is much better than none,” (82 ). In 1984, the government altered all media so that it supported the Party, and Winston, the primary character, could not be sure of what was real and what was faked, likewise to Offred in this instance. Another connection in between the 2 books is that sex is not to be a pleasurable thing; it is simply to produce offspring. “It has nothing to do with enthusiasm or love or love … It has absolutely nothing to do with libido … Arousal and orgasm are no longer believed essential … this is not entertainment … this is … task,” (94-95).
Both governments wish to manage the emotions their topics have.
Moira, Offred’s best friend, is a symbol of strength and hope to Offred. Moira was able to escape from the Aunts, something no other woman was able to do. “It makes me feel safer, that Moira is here,” (71). Though Offred is unsure of what has happened to Moira, she hopes Moira is well. Many of Offred’s flashbacks are of times when Offred and Moira were together. Many of Offred’s flashbacks are of memories of Moira and het together. Moira was strong; “Moira stood up straight and looked firmly ahead. She drew her shoulders back, pulled up her spine…Moira had power now, she’d been set loose…She was now a loose woman,” (132-133). Since Moira was able to escape, Offred hopes that one day she can also be free.
The most disturbing part of this book is when Janine, currently a handmaid, tells her story of how she was gang-raped at age fourteen. The Aunts ask the questions, “But whose fault was it? Who led them on? Why did God allow such a terrible thing to happen?” to which the other girls training to be handmaids replied, “Her fault,” “She did,” “Teach her a lesson,” (72). Janine burst into tears and said, “It was my fault…It was my own fault. I led them on. I deserved the pain,” (72). This part makes me very angry because it is so messed up. How can anyone say that a young girl deserved to be raped, and by more than one person? That is one of the sickest logics I have ever seen. This shows the way women were portrayed. Everything is their fault; men have no blame over their actions, and are never at wrong; women are inferior to men.
There are many instances of irony in this section. The first instance is when the Commander reads from the Bible right before the “ceremony” with Offred. He reads, “Blessed be the poor in spirit…Blessed are the merciful. Blessed be the meek. Blessed be the silent…Blessed be those that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” (89). Though these words themselves are not ironic, the irony is that the words from the Bible, which are meant to give peace and comfort to people, are the words that are giving women so much pain and mistreatment. Another instance of irony is when Aunt Lydia tells the handmaids-in-training that they “you’re getting the best…you are spoiled girls,” (89). These “spoiled girls” are raped once a month and are forced to give up their babies to another mother. The worst part is that many people actually believe that these things are right, when they are clearly cruel.
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