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Irony in The Handmaid's Tale

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Sydney Stog

on 29 October 2015

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Transcript of Irony in The Handmaid's Tale

Irony in

The Handmaid's Tale

Their society has Religion however; it is manipulated to fit their political views.
Irony: The Commander's are selective when choosing the Biblical passages to justify their actions and rules.
Schools have been transformed into the Red Centre.
Irony: schools today represent a place where you can become knowledgeable. Atwood's Dystopian "school" teaches conformity .
Removal of TRUE education.
The Meaning of Love
Atwood discusses the most powerful human emotion... love.
Irony: description = Falling, Action = Flying
Criticizes our definition and understanding of Love.
Chapter 21, page 127.

"Mother, I think. Wherever you may be. Can you hear me? You wanted a women's culture. Well, now there is one. It isn't what you meant, but it exists. Be thankful for small mercies."
Chapter 15, page 88.

"Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God's stead, who bathe withheld from the fruit of the womb? Behold my maid, Bilhah. She shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her."
Chapter 1, page 1.

"We slept in what had once been the gymnasium..."

Chapter 5, page 23.

"Doctors lived here once, lawyers, university professors. There are no lawyers anymore, and the university is closed."
Chapter 35, page 225.

Falling in love
we said; I fell for him
. We were falling women. We believed in it, this downward motion: so lovely, like flying, and yet at the same time so dire, so extreme, so unlikely."
The use of irony in
The Handmaid's Tale
works strongly to highlight the hypocrisy and failures of Offred's society.

Therefore, criticizing our own.
By: Claudia, Kayla, and Sydney
1a) What did Offred's mother mean by women's culture?
b) Since living in Gilead, do you believe Offred has a new respect for her extremely feminist mother, due to the dominant authority of males?

2a) What other ironic qualities do you believe Atwood displays throughout the novel?
b) Do you think the reasoning behind these qualities is solely Atwood warning us of the future we're creating for ourselves?

3) What do you think the novel would look like if the roles between males and females were reversed? Through this what do you believe Atwood would try to display?

In Margaret Atwood's
The Handmaid's Tale
, she displays ironic qualities in her description of a Dystopian world.
Offred's mother fought for women to be more involved in their own culture.
Irony: The women in Gilead are valued but not in the way Offred's mother wanted them to be. They are treated as valuable objects, instead of valued people.
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