Response on the passage of the Swamp in the Handmaid’s Tale
Offred is one of the women that represent resistance in the Gilead regime; she has managed to survive thought the novel, with all the things that it implies. She is a handmaid and according to the theocratic government, her main role is to conceive life in order to survive. This principle has been in Offred´s mind since she arrives to the commander’s house, unfortunately there is a point where her priority becomes unreachable. The fact that she cannot get pregnant and more time is passing, causing disappointment that will eventually turn into desperation. She narrates the changes in her way of thinking that begin to turn focused on one only purpose. The passage shows how She falls in the ideology of the regime, therefore the main theme is the lost of individuality due to her will of survival. This following passage in the handmaid’s tale is a stream of consciousness narrative, from Offred’s perspective. As she is the main narrator, she describes her personal life and feelings in the passage, through a particular language and imagery to help describe her situation. She is practically in a position where time is not on her side and failure is not an option, causing desperation and fear in her. She describe this by identifying her situation as sinking into a swamp, where she only knows the footing, referring as she is well aware of the consequences if she does not get pregnant, increasing distress. Before Gilead Offred live a normal, her body was used by the way she wanted, in order to accomplish her will. She describes it in a way, emphasizing the drastical changes in its purpose, as if it was a distant memory that she will never experienced again. “I could use it to run, push bottoms, of one sort of another, make thing happen”. Now, not only her role as a handmaid influences her new life, but it is the primary reason why her way of thinking has changed. The definition on how her own body stands for has changed; it is no longer “an instrument of pleasure or a means of transportation”. She now refers as herself as a cloud congealed around a central object with the shape of a pear, which means her uterus. It is the reason she is alive, it will help her to survive and it’s essential to achieve her role; one role that is intended to be achieved in a dispositional way by the rest of the handmaids, including Offred. Lately it has become her priority and that way of thinking affects her principles as a normal individual. When she mentions her uterus as being essential because it is “hard and more real than her”, she again shows how her perceptions have changed causing her lost of individuality. Since she lives her new life, she is supposed to accept and satisfied the expectations of others, which in her case are Serena joy and the Commander. If she gets pregnant, that baby will satisfied Serena’s expectations of being a mother. In Gilead that is the main priority, in such way that handmaid’s can’t choice to accept that work. In the case of Offred, “the others expectations have become her own”, she therefore cannot fail on her job. This is another way Offred´s mentality change, she changes ser focuses principally because of fear. The only thing Offred can do, since her mind is dominated, is to look forward for sings for possible pregnancy. Her actions also show her desperation, she is motivated by other means to look for any symptom of pregnancy. As it is not a correspondence pregnancy that will give her a child for herself, she is only desperately focused on survival. Eventually this changes her actions and deductions into an obsession and paranoia for signs. “Each twinge, each murmur of slight pain, ripples of sloughed-off matter, swellings and diminishings of tissue, the droolings of flesh, these are signs, these are the things I need to know about”. Other important idea of the text is the fact that Offred’s more mentioned feeling is fear, by the fact that every month...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document