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A Handmaid's Tale

  • Date Submitted: 06/26/2011 04:40 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.1 
  • Words: 505
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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Jezebels
Key Points:
  * Offred's faith and belief in the future seem to be slipping. Her memories are becoming more and more random, and she seems physically weaker. Even though she knows far more about the weaknesses of the regime and the presence of subversive elements (such as the Mayday network), she seems to be less certain than ever that she will be able to escape. Compared to Moira and now Ofglen, Offred seems unwilling to take any real risks to escape her circumstances.
  * Before Gilead, Offred was a relatively ordinary woman. She did not particularly care about her political rights: she wanted to fall in love and get married, and was willing to have an affair with a married man and wait for him until he left his wife. At the same time, Offred did enjoy having her own job and her own money. She was not uncaring, merely complacent. In other words, Offred is not a typical heroine. She feels no desire to risk her own life in order to help others, and she's not even sure that she would risk what she has now for the possibility of escape. Atwood clearly intends Offred to be a kind of everywoman
  * Given Offred's dislike of risk, it is very surprising when she accepts Serena Joy's offer to help her get pregnant. On the one hand, this seems incredibly dangerous; on the other hand, their agreement seems natural. She and Serena Joy are at least more equal than she and the Commander, or she and the Doctor. Furthermore, in order for Serena Joy to betray Offred, she would need a male witness or another female witness. Offred makes her decision quickly without considering the risks, as she did with the Doctor. It seems likely that as her affair with the Commander progresses, Offred begins to feel more and more like an ordinary woman, and begins to feel something like a kinship with Serena Joy. Offred seems to feel more like Serena Joy's equal than ever before. Serena Joy has taken a great deal from her, and she will take even more from her (a child) if she...

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