The Handmaid's Tale: Keeping the Faith

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The Handmaid's Tale conveys the message that the ability to have "faith" and grow from a precursor can create connections with others. This precursor unintentionally pushed others to do greater things by being the catalyst for their survival and growth.

In the novel, articles of past occupants are left behind in Offred's room. These items hold a lot of irony in the story; they are pieces of writing, and in the civilization of the handmaid reading is prohibited. The first finding Offred discovers is a carving in a hidden area in her wardrobe that reads, "Notlite te basturdes carborundorum", she is later to uncover a translation to the script, " Don't let the bastards grind you down." Offred comes to the conclusion that this minuscule icon must have been put there by the handmaid before her, and this idea of knowing what the other before her had gone through made a connection between them. Offred infrequently brought up the saying to herself to get her through a short ordeal or feel connected to someone outside of her tiny world. The other article was a small window cushion embroidered with the faded letters "FAITH". This cushion was the only other item that Offred had to read, and indirectly gave her vigor to keep fighting to maintain her sanity.

Offred uses these incentives left by "the others" and pushes through her self-doubt and apathy and begins to look for a life outside of her present unfulfilling existence. But all of this is to some extent; an attempt to make plans for escape. Through her turmoil, comes no full rewards, and the only factor that truly stays constant with the character is that she keeps recording her story. Like the handmaid before her, she finds hope in something that expresses freedom, though she may never get away from her present state, she finds something that mentally releases her. Though no one was ever to find this misfit information, it is discovered and used to complete and assist others....
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