The Handmaid’s Tale

Topics: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, Science fiction Pages: 2 (744 words) Published: February 25, 2013
The Handmaid’s Tale Response Paper

The motif of time is very apparent in this section. Time, something are never thought much of before her new life, is now an object she thinks about frequently. “There’s time to spare. This is one of the things I wasn’t prepared for – the amount of unfilled time,” (Atwood 69). “In the afternoons we lay o our beds for an hour in the gymnasium…they were giving us a chance to get used to blank time,” (70). “The clock ticks with its pendulum, keeping time my feet in their neat red shoes count the way down,” (79). This motif shows how much the lives’ of the women, including Offred’s, has changed. They are restricted from doing so much that the amount of free time they have overwhelms them.

The Handmaid’s Tale has many connections to 1984 by George Orwell. One connection is that in both stories, one cannot be sure whether what the government says is true or not. “Who knows if any of [the news] is true? It could be old clips, it could be faked…Any news, now is better than none,” (82). In 1984, the government changed all media so that it supported the Party, and Winston, the main character, could not be sure of what was real and what was faked, similarly to Offred in this instance. Another connection between the two books is that sex is not to be a pleasurable thing; it is merely to produce offspring. “It has nothing to do with passion or love or romance…It has nothing to do with sexual desire…Arousal and orgasm are no longer thought necessary…this is not recreation…this is…duty,” (94-95). Both governments want to control the emotions their subjects possess.

Moira, Offred’s best friend, is a symbol of strength and hope to Offred. Moira was able to escape from the Aunts, something no other woman was able to do. “It makes me feel safer, that Moira is here,” (71). Though Offred is unsure of what has happened to Moira, she hopes Moira is well. Many of Offred’s flashbacks are of times when Offred and Moira were together. Many...
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