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The handmaids tale
Transcript of The handmaids tale
by Brooke Stanton and Rachel Harmon Thesis In the Handmaids Tale by Margret Atwood the lack of freedom the Handmaids are given restricts connection with other people. words Offered finds an inscription in the corner on the floor that says Nolite te bastardes carborundorum which means "don't let the bastards get you down"
This shows that the handmaid before Offred did not like the way the society was being ruled and felt sympathy for the Handmaids after her. words "Such songs are not sung anymore in public, especially the ones that use words like free."
This signals that offered no longer has the freedom of speech, and may no longer speak or sing in public as she pleases. words Offred is looking around the room and spots a pillow with the word Faith printed on it: "i can spend minutes, tens of minutes, running my eyes over the print: FAITH. It's the only thing they've given me to read."
This shows that things that are normal to our society like a word on a pillow are so desired by Offred because words have been taken away from her. Relations Offred hasn't seen her daughter in a long time and she doesn't even know if her husband is still alive. She is kept from having any sort of connection with her family. Government power & freedom The government has the power to take away freedom. Today, we know of restrictions the government has put on people such as concentration camps. This novel is sugar-coated reflection of events that have happened in history. The author may have used this novel to show people what kind of power the government holds. Offred and Ofglen The only kind of restricted connection Offred gets is with the other handmaid Ofglen. They can't go anywhere without each other. They can't look at each other or speak freely about whatever they want. Offred wishes they could talk but offred has a theory that ofglen is a spy. Offred and Ofglen "It occurs to me that she may be a spy, a plant, set to trap me; such is the soil in which we grow. But I can't believe it; hope is rising in me, like sap in a tree. Blood in a wound. We have made an opening."
Her lack of freedom and connection with people has lead her to believe that anyone such as ofglen is against her and out to get her. She feels she has to watch what she says and/or does around her. This could all be an illusion given off by this society because they have made people believe that they cannot trust anyone. The society may have done this on purpose to keep people from having connections and helping each other. An Interview with Margaret Atwood on Her Novel The Handmaid's Tale
Q: Was there any special research involved in writing The Handmaid's Tale?
A: I clipped articles out of newspapers. I now have a large clippings file of stories supporting the contentions in the book. In other words, there isn't anything in the book not based on something that has already happened in history or in another country, or for which actual supporting documentation is not already available.
Interview cont. Q: What are we to learn from The Handmaid's Tale?
A: This is a book about what happens when certain casually held attitudes about women are taken to their logical conclusions. For example, I explore a number of conservative opinions still held by many--such as a woman's place is in the home. And also certain feminist pronouncements--women prefer the company of other women, for example. Take these beliefs to their logical ends and see what happens. As a writer, you can chose to create a mainstream novel in which these issues appear only as the characters discuss them sitting around the kitchen table. But I decided to take these positions and dramatize them, carry them to their furthest logical conclusions.