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The Handmaid's Tale

Series of Lesson Resources for A Level
by

Jane Ambrose

on 27 April 2017

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Transcript of The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
Learning Objectives:
To think about how the novel is structured
To explore the opening chapters
What sort of narrative is this? How would you describe it?

What do you notice about the way the book is organised and why do you think that this might be significant?
Epigraphs and dedications
Chapter 1
How is life presented in the first chapter?
When did this occur?
How is Paradox used in this opening chapter?
Why is the whispering of names significant?
What do you deduce Offred's name to be and why is this significant?
Chapter 2

Page 17 How does the language used make the setting appear oppressive?
Page 18 What idea is being expressed in the paragraph - ' But a chair etc
Page 18 How is the way the clothing is described unsettling to the reader?
Page 19 top paragraph What is significant about the way that she is described as desending the stairs?
Page 20-21 the last paragraph to 'the martha's were not meant to fraternise with us' - what do you notice about the narrative here? What is going on?
Page 21 What is significant about Luker's comments?


Chapter 3
Page 23-23 What is the significance of the way that the Commander's wife is described?
Page 23-25 How would you describe and characterise the interaction between Offred and Serena Joy
Page 26 how is the paragraph starting 'Yes Ma'am' unsettling?
Page 26 Why is Serena Joy's background significant?




Chapter 4
Page 27-28 What is interesting or unsettling about the description of Nick?
Page 28 - The middle section - what is interesting about this? What allusions are drawn upon?
Page 29 - What is interesting about the way in which the Handmaid's communicate?
Page 30 - does anything remind you of 1984 here? If so what? How is the feeling of oppression developed?
Page 31 What is Offred's defiant action? How is the way it is described significant?
Page 32 How has the idea of a kiss been subverted in this dystopian society?
Page 32 - how is language used to establish the repressive nature of the state?





Chapter 5:

Page 33 - what is significant about the opening line?
Page 33 How is the past used to illuminate the present?
Page 34 What is the difference between Freedom From and Freedom to? Which one belongs to the past and which one belongs to the present. Why does she include these memories here? What is their effect?
Why is it significant that their clothes are called habits?
Page 35 paragraph that starts Lillies - what is significant about the words done and undone and choices?
Page 35 what do we learn about Gilead's relations with the outside world?
Page 36 what does the description tell us about the dystopian society and Offred? Why is it significant that this Janine?
Page 38 - what is significant about the way that the women from Japan are described?
What is significant about the question and Offred's answer?

Chapter 6

Page 40 - how is contrast used?
Page 41 How is the wall described - how is made to sound oppressive?
Page 42 Why have the men on the wall been killed - why is this significant?
Page 43 - what is significant about the line 'none of these men were Luke? Luke wasn't a doctor. Isn't.
Page 43 How is the colour red used?
What is the effect of the final paragraph?

Chapter 4
Page 27-28 What is interesting or unsettling about the description of Nick?
Page 28 - The middle section - what is interesting about this? What allusions are drawn upon?
Page 29 - What is interesting about the way in which the Handmaid's communicate?
Page 30 - does anything remind you of 1984 here? If so what? How is the feeling of oppression developed?
Page 31 What is Offred's defiant action? How is the way it is described significant?
Page 32 How has the idea of a kiss been subverted in this dystopian society?
Page 32 - how is language used to establish the repressive nature of the state?


All questions are framed to test AOs 2, 3, 4 and 5, so if candidates answer the question, then they will be addressing the AOs. In marking questions, however, examiners must also take account of AO1, which tests more than technical accuracy.

The AOs are as follows:

AO1 Articulate informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate written expression. (28%)
AO2 Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts. (24%)

AO3 Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received. (24%)

AO4 Explore connections across literary texts. (12%)

AO5 Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations. (12%)

The Handmaid’s Tale is not primarily about the suppression of women but about their defiance.’
To what extent do you agree with this view? Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed exploration of Atwood’s authorial methods.

Introduction – where you set up the debate – what are you going to be examining and what exactly are you going to decide.

2/3 paragraphs on Suppression
• Physical Threat and Fear
• Surveillance and the sense of being watched all of the time
• Indoctrination

2/3 paragraphs on Defiance:
• Her thoughts and memories
• Small rebellions
• The art of storytelling itself and the fact that she is telling a story

A conclusion where you answer the question by evaluating your evidence so what do you think and why.

You could try to interpret a line, section, event or description in both ways and then try to evaluate using more evidence from the book which interpretation is more valid and why.

Chapter 7
1. Page 47 - what does the first paragraph suggest about the past and what does the second paragraph suggest about how Offred feels about the night and her own mind?
2. During the memory about Moira, how is the past established as very different from Offred's present? Look at the lexis/words used?
3. Is the burning of porn by feminists any different to the burning of it by the church, in your opinion? Explain yourself.
4. Why is the section that begins 'But then what happens' and ends ' white and down to the ground', so disturbing?
5.What does the bottom section on page 49 suggest about the ending?
6. At the end of the chapter, why do you think that she is writing this story?

Chapter 8
1. On page 53 and the top of 54 - what is significant about Offred and Ofglen's interaction?
2. On page 54-55 how do the tulips resemble women?
3. Why might Nick have spoken to her then?
4. What was Serena Joy's role in the old world?
5. How is Offred dehumanised by Rita and Cora's conversation on page 57-8?
6. Why is the last line of the chapter significant?

Chapter 10

1. What does music represent here? Page 64
2. What sorts of things do you think ‘things’ were? Why use the euphemism? Pg65
3. Why do you think Aunt Lydia is crying? Whare is your evidence?
4. What happens to the narrative here? Why is this significant?
5. What does Moira represent in the story? What details suggest this?
6. What is different about her interactions with Moira compared to her reactions to others in Gilead? Pg66
7. What do you think he means by ‘we lived in the gaps between the stories.’
8. Why are her thoughts rebellious on the bottom of pg 67/68 – why mention Moira again here?

Chapter 11
9. What is strange about the sentence ‘I am taken to the doctors’? pg69
10. What is the effect of the Doctor not being able to see her face? Why do this?
11. Why is it significant that the doctor suggests that the commander might be sterile?
12. What does she mean by, ‘give me children, or else I die,’? What does this allude to?
13. How would you describe the doctor’s behaviour? Where is your evidence?

Chapter 12
14. Why would she be vulnerable in the bath?
15. What is significant about the description of the bathroom?
16. How does she react to her body? Why is this significant?
17. How is memory used here? How does it alter the tone?
18. Why is the incident at the supermarket significant?73
19. How do the memories collide and interact in her head? Why is this significant? 74
20. What does the tattoo signify? Pg 75
21. Page 75 – why is it significant that she is described as a vessel?
22. How is Serena Joy contrasted with Offred on page 76?
23. What does she mean by the last paragraph?


Key motifs and Symbols

A motif is a repeated image or device
A symbol is something that represents something more than itself

You will be in charge of one symbol or motif and you will track it through the novel and noting: when it occurs, what happens directly before or after and why you think it might be significant.

Eyes The Moon Rape and Sexual Violence
Red Shoes Flowers/Tulips Harvard University
The Body Biblical References Waiting
Mirrors Vessels Writing
Military


Learning Objective
To learn more about the opening chapters of the novel
To explore the importance of memory
Chapter 13

1. In the first paragraph what 2 comparisons does she set up
2. Why is the first sentence of the second paragraph passive and inert?
3. Pick three details that exemplify her bordom?
4. What do you think Moira represents here and why– is this the first time we have heard about her?
5. How is Janine set up as the antithesis of Janine
6. What ideas is Offred articulating in her treatment of Janine?
7. How is the women’s behaviour in response made to sound unnerving?
8. How are men’s lives established as different on page 83
9. What do you make of her description of her body on pages 83 and 84 – how is it linked to fertility?
10. What is significant about her initial memory of being in an apartment with Luke?
11. With the dream of her daughter – what makes it sound nightmarish? Does anything lnk it to her current position?
12. What is significant about the title of this chapter?

Chapter 14
1. How is the sitting room presented?
2. Why do you think that she would like to steal something?
3. How is the word hold made to seem significant?
4. What do you make of Nick’s behaviour?
5. Why do you think they are allowed to watch the news?
6. How is the newsreader juxtaposed with the news? Why is this done?
7. What is familiar to the reader about the news and what is unfamiliar?
8. Why do you think she has the memories she does have at this point?
9. How is a sense of fear established?

Chapter 15
1. What is significant about the way the commander is described?
2. What symbols of oppression are in the room?
3. How does she establish the strangeness of being ‘ a Man watched by women.’
4. Why is it significant that’ the commander has the word’.
5. What do you think she means when she says, ‘How we squandered it once.’
6. Why remember Moira at this point? How has the memory changed?
7. How is the commander’s power established at the end of the chapter?
8. What is ‘The Ceremony’?

Chapter 13

1. In the first paragraph what 2 comparisons does she set up
2. Why is the first sentence of the second paragraph passive and inert?
3. Pick three details that exemplify her bordom?
4. What do you think Moira represents here and why– is this the first time we have heard about her?
5. How is Janine set up as the antithesis of Janine
6. What ideas is Offred articulating in her treatment of Janine?
7. How is the women’s behaviour in response made to sound unnerving?
8. How are men’s lives established as different on page 83
9. What do you make of her description of her body on pages 83 and 84 – how is it linked to fertility?
10. What is significant about her initial memory of being in an apartment with Luke?
11. With the dream of her daughter – what makes it sound nightmarish? Does anything lnk it to her current position?
12. What is significant about the title of this chapter?


Chapter 14
1. How is the sitting room presented?
2. Why do you think that she would like to steal something?
3. How is the word hold made to seem significant?
4. What do you make of Nick’s behaviour?
5. Why do you think they are allowed to watch the news?
6. How is the newsreader juxtaposed with the news? Why is this done?
7. What is familiar to the reader about the news and what is unfamiliar?
8. Why do you think she has the memories she does have at this point?
9. How is a sense of fear established?

Chapter 15
1. What is significant about the way the commander is described?
2. What symbols of oppression are in the room?
3. How does she establish the strangeness of being ‘ a Man watched by women.’
4. Why is it significant that’ the commander has the word’.
5. What do you think she means when she says, ‘How we squandered it once.’
6. Why remember Moira at this point? How has the memory changed?
7. How is the commander’s power established at the end of the chapter?
8. What is ‘The Ceremony’?

Debate

Some critics have argued that the World of Gilead is utterly recognisable

Agree v Disagree


Remember this could be recognisable in Literature and Culture, as well as History and Politics.


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/sep/26/the-handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood


Fiercely political and bleak, yet witty and wise, the novel won the inaugural Arthur C Clarke award in 1987, but Atwood has always maintained that the novel is not classifiable science fiction. Nothing practised in the Republic of Gilead is genuinely futuristic. She is right, and this novel seems ever more vital in the present day, where women in many parts of the world live similar lives, dictated by biological determinism and misogyny.


I made a rule for myself: I would not include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist. I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepresenting the human potential for deplorable behaviour. The group-activated hangings, the tearing apart of human beings, the clothing specific to castes and classes, the forced childbearing and the appropriation of the results, the children stolen by regimes and placed for upbringing with high-ranking officials, the forbidding of literacy, the denial of property rights: all had precedents, and many were to be found not in other cultures and religions, but within western society, and within the "Christian" tradition, itself. (I enclose "Christian" in quotation marks, since I believe that much of the church's behaviour and doctrine during its two-millennia-long existence as a social and political organisation would have been abhorrent to the person after whom it is named.)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jan/20/handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale in relation to 1984

Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a logical continuation of Orwell’s novel. Atwood places her totalitarian society in the 1980s, the exact setting of 1984. The society of The Handmaid’s Tale, like 1984, has specific groups for individuals to belong to. For women, they are placed according to both their skills and their fertility. For the men, they are placed according to the hierarchal power structure. The novel, however, was written in a different time period. Instead of WWII being a major societal factor, like Orwell and 1984, for Atwood, the 1980s was a time when the Cold War (post WWII, when the then Soviet Union and the United States were at their greatest differences with the nuclear arms race) came to a head. The societal political threat was communism as opposed to fascism . On the other end of the political spectrum, extremist communism was restrictive to the individual; the state basically told you your role in society based on your skills. This is where Atwood begins with the roles she gives her characters in the totalitarian society of Gilead. *power structure on board* (men/military=survival; women/fertility=survival, men/not military=servant, women/no fertility=servant)*

https://trippy41.wordpress.com/essays/lecture-dystopian-literature-the-handmaids-tale-and-1984/

Notes (Plot, language, authorial methods
Cues and Quotes
Summary
Foregrounds story telling
Mimemisis is always impossible
Is forgiveness a power
Cora wants a birth day
Commander's Room is like the old world
She can't make sense of it
He is still after her as a sexual being/body
This is a reconstruction
We are two legged wombs
He was so sad
This is a reconstruction
This chapter is in many ways about power. She has very little power in Gilead and this is shown by her having to go and see the commander and eventually kiss him but she does have the power to tell the story as she wishes and perhaps to make herself sound more rebellious.
Chapter 23
Key Themes
Authorial Methods
Oppression
Love
Power
Indoctrination
Identity
Heirarchy
Boredom
Defiance
Female Solidarity
Relationships
Fear
Fertility
Role of women in society
Control
Surveillance
Waiting
Sexual Assault
Female Body
Story Telling
Freedom
Unreliable Narrator
Lack of Chronological Order
Memory
Free and Indirect Seech
Focalisation
Language choices


1. You will be assigned a chapter in threes
2. You make Cornell notes on a chapter in groups of three
3. Go back into your groups of four and feedback on your chapter
4. Listen to everyone else feeding back and only make notes in the notes section
5. Back to your group of three tell each other a key thing that you remember from each chapter
1. Jess
2. Sapphire
3. Katheryn
4. Maddie
1. Katherine
2. Lauryn
3. Katie
4. Libby
1.

Beth
2. Niamh
3. Sarah
4. Grace
Group a - 24
Group b -25
Group c - 26
Group d - 27
Chapter 36
• How does Offred feel about going out?
• How are the old world and the new world contrasted in this chapter
• Why is the line, ‘if anyone sees you, say you are an evening rental,’ significant?

Chapter 37
• Page 246 – what is different about the gender divide here?
• Page 247 – how does the present relate to the past?
• How legitimate, linked to the state, do you think that the club is?

Chapter 38
• How do we know that the women are not free here and why is this interesting?
• How does Moira view the commander?
• What is significant about Moira’s story?
• How does the final paragraph impact the reader?

Chapter 39
• How and why are her memories of her Mother significant?
• Look at the top of page 266 - what is significant about the line, ‘Serena Joy wants me serviced’?
• Why can she not behave any differently with the Commander to normal?


Chapter 40
• Why is her memory of the past on page 272 significant?
• How do you respond to her different versions of her night with Nick? Why are the following lines interesting:
‘All I can hope for is a reconstruction; the way love feels is always only approximate.’
‘And I thought afterwards: this is a betrayal.’

Chapter 41
• Who do you think that she is talking to at the beginning of the chapter and why?
• What features in this chapter make it sound as if she is telling a story?
• How is the relationship between Offred and Nick described differently?

Chapter 42
• On page 284 what signs of a totalitarian state are there?
• Why is it significant that this used to be a University
• Why does she say, ‘I don’t want to be telling this story’? What is the effect on the reader?
• What is the effect of meeting Aunt Lydia again on the reader?
• Why doesn’t she list the crimes – what does this tell us about the state?
• What is the function of the rope?

Chapter 43
• Why involve the woman in a Particicution?
• How is it described?
• How is the reader meant to feel about the man do you think?
• What does this tell us about the state?
• What is significant about the end of the Chapter?
Chapter 44
• Why is it significant that Ofglen has gone – what is the effect on the reader?
• Do you trust the new Ofglen?
• What is the impact of the final paragraph?
Chapter 45
• What is significant about becoming a Chalice?
• How do you feel towards Serena Joy?
Chapter 46
• Why is it significant that it is ’Night’ again?
• What do you notice about the structure of this chapter?
• What does she mean by, ‘ In my lap is a handful of crumpled stars?’
• What are Offred’s options at the end of page 303-5?
• What is the role of the previous Offred?
• What evidence is there that Offred is either about to be condemned or set free?



At least as important is that in the work of the male writers she discusses Millett finds a relationship between sex and power in which the distribution of power over the male and female partners mirrors the distribution of power over males and females in society at large. In other words, in terms of power, acts that we usually think of as completely private turn out to be an extension of the public sphere. The private and the public cannot be seen as wholly separate – on the contrary, they are intimately linked. Since this is the case, Millett argues, the private sphere is, just like the public realm, thoroughly political: it is a political arena where the same power-based relations exist as in the public world. Feminism and feminist criticism are profoundly political in claiming that the personal and the political cannot be separated. They are also political in the more traditional sense of trying to intervene in the social order with a
programme that aims to change actually existing social conditions.

Learning Objective;
To write an essay that conforms to all of the Assessment Objectives

Offred is a symbol of hope rather than conformity.
To what extent do you agree with this view?



How might you be able to relate the exerpt from the critical anthology to this question?

In pairs you will take one chapter and you will see how you could answer the question using that chapter. Then we will share this information.

Katherine & Jess
Niamh & Katie
Libby & Sarah
Lauryn & Sapphire
Maddie & Beth
Kathryn & Grace


Give yourself a number 1 or 2

Offred is a symbol of hope rather than conformity.
To what extent do you agree with this view?
1. In the plot does the character hope or does she just conform
2. What does she seem to the reader
3. How does the novel and its form relate to this question?

Now you will start to plan the essay

You need five key topic sentences.

Introductions: Do not answer the question but rather break it down and suggest what you are going examine in the essay. You could start with point three.

How might you relate the following article to the question?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/18/my-hero-george-orwell-atwood

Now we are going to have a look at a section of an essay.

You need your copies of the Mark Scheme and the AOs

1. Can you spot how she has handled the AOs?
2. Can you see why this is Band 5 answer - Perceptive and Assured.

Assessment Objectives:
AO1: Articulate informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate written expression.
AO2: Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts. •
AO3: Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received.
AO4: Explore connections across literary texts.
AO5: Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations

A Model Introduction

The Handmaid’s Tale is characterised by ambiguity and just as we cannot be sure as to what Offred’s original fate is, it is hard to ascertain whether we see her as a symbol of hope or conformity. Offred does certainly rebel in a number of ways but this essay will examine whether her non-conformity seems hopeful to both the characters in the book and the reader. Furthermore, it is also worth considering whether at the time the novel was first produced it, and Offred’s narrative, were themselves symbolic of hope to a 1980’s readership hungry for stories that fore grounded women’s experience.
Memory
Story telling
Retrospective
Non-Chronological
Partial
Narrators
Taken from The Art of Fiction, by D. Lodge:
Unreliable narrators are invariably invented characters who are part of the stories they
tell. An unreliable “omniscient” narrator is almost a contradiction in terms, and could only
occur in a very deviant, experimental text. Even a character-narrator cannot be a hundred
per cent unreliable. If everything he or she says is palpably false, that only tells us what we
know already, namely that a novel is a work of fiction. There must be some possibility of
discriminating between truth and falsehood within the imagined world of the novel, as there
is in the real world, for the story to engage our interest.
The point of using an unreliable narrator is indeed to reveal in an interesting way the gap
between appearance and reality, and to show how human beings distort or conceal the
latter. This need not be a conscious, or mischievous, intention on their part. The narrator of
Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel is not an evil man, but his life has been based on the suppression
and evasion of the truth, about himself and about others. His narrative is a kind of
confession, but it is riddled with devious self-justification and special pleading, and only at
the very end does he arrive at an understanding of himself – too late to profit by it.
Chapter 40
“You said, 'I love you.' Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? 'I love you' is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say it we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them.”

Jeanette Winterson Written on The Body


Offred remains defiant until the end - to what extent do you agree with this view?


We can never be certain what NIck represents - to what extent do you agree with this view?

Remember to include in your answer
relevant detailed exploration of Atwood’s authorial methods.

How is the tension built in Chapters 44 and 45?
What key ideas re-occur in Chapters 42 and 43?
Lerarning Objective:
To analyse the end of the Handmaid's Tale.
https://anenduringromantic.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/we-are-hers-to-define-we-must-suffer-her-adjectives-margaret-atwoods-the-handmaids-tale/

How are we meant to read the ending of The Handmaid's Tale?

Offred escapes v Offred is caught by the EYES



We are going to
Debate

Offred is defnitely imprisoned at the end of the novel - to what extent do you agree with this reading?
Offred and Bertha

How to use an extract to hit as many AO's as possible
The Handmaid's Tale is more about the suppression of women rather than their defiance.
Gilead's attitude to abortion is one of the key ways that women are suppressed.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/24/photo-trump-womens-rights-protest-reproductive-abortion-developing-contries
Page 42 -43
The imagery used to describe the men is horrific - this adds a note of terror
The language Gilead uses to describe the abortionists
How do women feel now? How is this described?
How is anaphora used in the final two paragraphs of the episode? What is the effect?
How is Offred's reaction described - is the language used significant? How does this relate to the question?
1984 Anti-Sex League
Offred herself is almost completely passive – things happen to her, and she responds to them, events move her, but she never moves – or even tries to move – them. This makes Offred a less inspiring character than a Winston Smith or a Guy Montag, but I also think that it makes her a truer character, and one easier to identify with – for the truth is that most of us aren’t actually willing to put our lives on the line in order to resist power.

(Let me put it this way: Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451 is Edward Snowden. But for one Edward Snowden, there are a million others who feel the same way, but do not act. Offred stands for – speaks for – thinks for – those million others.)
To revise some key themes, authorial methods, contexts and debates
https://anenduringromantic.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/we-are-hers-to-define-we-must-suffer-her-adjectives-margaret-atwoods-the-handmaids-tale/
Focus on Chapter 28
1. Why place this chapter here?
2. How does this relate to themes of defiane and conformity?
3. Look at page 189 - how defiant does Offred seem here?
4. Why put the memory of the mother here? What is the effect?
5. What solidarity between women do we see here?
6. What undertones of a Giladean society do we see in her memories?
7. What do you make of the last paragraph?
8. What would you say about the narrative voice?
What contextual factors are relevant?

How might this relate to the Literature of Politics and Protest?
Many people note that Margaret Atwood went to Iran before she wrote the novel but this is what she has said about her influences:
Three things that had long been of interest to me came together during the writing of the book. The first was my interest in dystopian literature, an interest that began with my adolescent reading of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Huxley's Brave New World and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and continued through my period of graduate work at Harvard in the early 1960s. (Once you've been intrigued by a literary form, you always have a secret yen to write an example of it yourself.) The second was my study of 17th and 18th-century America, again at Harvard, which was of particular interest to me since many of my own ancestors had lived in those times and in that place. The third was my fascination with dictatorships and how they function, not unusual in a person who was born in 1939, three months after the outbreak of the second world war.
I made a rule for myself: I would not include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist. I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepresenting the human potential for deplorable behaviour. The group-activated hangings, the tearing apart of human beings, the clothing specific to castes and classes, the forced childbearing and the appropriation of the results, the children stolen by regimes and placed for upbringing with high-ranking officials, the forbidding of literacy, the denial of property rights: all had precedents, and many were to be found not in other cultures and religions, but within western society, and within the "Christian" tradition, itself. (I enclose "Christian" in quotation marks, since I believe that much of the church's behaviour and doctrine during its two-millennia-long existence as a social and political organisation would have been abhorrent to the person after whom it is named
A paradox is a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true (or wrong at the same time). Some logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking.
DEBATE
The Handmaid’s Tale is not primarily about the suppression of women but about their defiance.

Suppression v Defiance


Two sides
Each group splits into 5 smaller groups - 10 mins on a chapter - go back to your initial group
15 minutes to feed back and prepare
DEBATE
Remember counter arguments
http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/03/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-trump

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/books/review/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-age-of-trump.html

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/11/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-sales-trump




https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/15/margaret-atwood-interview-english-pen-pinter-prize

http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/02/rereading-margaret-atwoods-the-handmaids-tale.html

What I feel towards them is blankness. What I feel is that I must not feel. What I feel is partly relief, because none of these men are Luke. Luke wasn't a doctor. Isn't.
It's one of the things we fought for, said the Commander's wife
No more. no anaesthetics, even. Aunt Elizabeth said it was better for the baby, but also:
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.
The little girl who is now dead sits in the back seat, with her two best dolls, her stuffed rabbit, mangy with age and love. I know the details.
Don't think that way
, Moira would say.
Think that way and you'll make it happen.
To him I am not merely empty
What was it about it that made us feel we deserved it?
She threw off her jacket, sprawled into the oversized chair. Tell me. First we'll have a drink.
He calls me by my real name. Why should this mean anything?
Identify the quotation and think why is it significant?
Then think how would you use it to answer the essay questions on the next slide?
Ultimately the Handmaid's Tale is about is about Power and Control.
To what extent do you agree?

Noone is actually free in The Handma's Tale.
To what extent do you agree?

Rebellion is ultimately futile in THe Handmaid's Tale
To what extent do you agree?

Hope is never truly lost in The Handmaid's Tale to what extent do you agree?
To what extent do you agree?

Full transcript