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Commentary On A Handmaid's Tale

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In chapter 41, it starts out with Offred saying how much she hates the story she is telling and that she wishes that it could be different and that it could be more civilized or happier. She gives a very graphic metaphor ÐŽolike a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by forceÐŽ±. This show just how much it pains her to tell this story and how gruesome and inhumane the story is to her. But then she goes on the say that she has tried to put in some good things that would make the story better. This shows that Offred is an optimistic person. She earns and tries her best to see some good when everything seems so evil. Offred tells her imagined listener that her story is almost too painful to bear, but that she needs to go on telling it because it wills her listener into being. She creates hope for herself that there is still a world to escape to. She does not say exactly whom she is talking to but I think that she is talking to Luke because she says that she would like to talk with him if ever they both escape and meet again. Offred says she continues to see Nick at night without SerenaЎЇs knowledge. He never says much but she begins to open up to him. Telling about herself, about Moira, Ofglen and even her own name. But she never tells him about Luke. This passage shows OffredЎЇs growing love for Nick, if not love, her attachment and affection. She says that every time she hurries ÐŽoacross the few feet of illuminated lawnÐŽ± ÐŽoto feel the bullets rip through me even in advance of their soundÐŽ±. Even though she knows all the danger that she is putting herself in, she takes the chances because she loves him. And she also tells him so much about herself because she trusts him and trust comes with love. Offred tells us that every time that she goes to Nick, he is holding something and that he has his own ÐŽostash of black-market stuffÐŽ±. This shows one of the small failures of Gilead. Since it is a totalitarian state, it is supposed to control everything, but people are finding ways to break the rules, like buying banned items from the Black-Market. Offred tells us that when she kisses the commander, she keeps her eyes closed and she keeps them open when she is with Nick. The commander symbolizes Gilead and everything about it whereas Nick stands for her past and everything good. So she keeps her eyes closed with the commander to try and drown out everything, to try and keep herself from remembering it too much, but she keep her eyes open with Nick because she wants to remember everything and try to hold on to every single good memory or thought that she possibly can. During their shopping trips, Ofglen tells Offred to try and break into the CommanderЎЇs office to find information about anything that would help the rebel cause. But Offred is not interested. She is completely focused on Nick. Then she remembers something that her mother told her in the past. She said ÐŽ®Humanity is so adaptable. Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.ЎЇ This is one of the main themes of the book. Everyone in the book had some sort of compensation. Something that made them complacent to the evil that was happening around them, which is Gilead. OffredЎЇs compensation was Nick. After she starting meeting with him on a regular basis, she stopped caring for trying to find a way out of Gilead. He became her security and where she could feel safe. MoiraЎЇs compensation was JezebelЎЇs. A place where she did not have to accept all of Gilead and its ideologies. Serena Joy had power over the HandmaidЎЇs, which she enjoys as well as the power that she had over most of the household. Each of these people complain and suffer in the story, but once they have that one thing that makes it seem alright, they just go with the flow.

Ch. 42

The Handmaids are herded into the Harvard yard to watch the Salvagings, 2 by 2. They are surrounded by ÐŽoheavy-contingent of guards, special-detail Angels, with riot gearÐŽ±. Like everyday in Gilead, once again the Handmaids are surrounded by Gilead. They are being told that they are continuously watched that the government of Gilead knows what they are doing, and they will stop them, probably hurting them in the process. These riot police are not there for protection, they are there to keep the HandmaidЎЇs in line with what they usually use, which is fear. A salvaging is a mass execution, where people who do not follow Gilead are executed, or more rightly, murdered. They are always segregated. The name Salvaging is ironic because to salvage something means to save it but what they are doing is not saving the people at all. Like all of the other names used in HandmaidЎЇs tale, it is propaganda, trying to brainwash the people into accepting Gilead or trying to make Gilead sound better than it is. Another example would be Aunts. The name Aunts, give you an image of family, of a nurturer, but in contrast, Aunts are not very nurturing at all, they are there to keep the HandmaidЎЇs in line with GileadЎЇs ways and

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