First published in , The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire. Atwood's Handmaid. Elsa Mateo Blanco. 5. The Handmaid's Tale by. Margaret Atwood. I. Night. 1. We slept in what. But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle,. not being Handmaid's Tal The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

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THE MERCENARY'S TALE Lynn Lorenz ® Warning This e- book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult. The Handmaid's Tale. Home · The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale · Read more · The Tale. Read more · The Warrior's Tale · Read more. Margaret Atwood'sThe Handmaid's Tale by Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Handmaid's Tale 1 Editor: Gary Carey, M.A.

On the other hand, Nick and Kate want to escape Gilead with their future baby. The fact that this old novel and this here old film have been remembered for a TV series has, of course, to do with the election of the present President of the USA. The rise of bigotry and populism in the USA today is seen as dangerous. The present period in our globalized world is bringing up the question of refusing change and even dreaming of a full U-turn and going back to what the world was in the past, the Old Testament, in this case, A victory of Japan and Germany in in The Man in the High Castle.

The pessimists are going to say that will lead to the Third World War. The dream of a permanent siesta or farniente. Though it may very well be a Matrix that leads to eternal slavery and war. There is no full recording of the opera available on the market, or YouTube.

We are thus reduced to this audio version which is luckily attached to an important booklet that provides descriptions of all the visual episodes, most of them without music at all. I must say though that the newly produced TV series adapted from the novel has motivated Norman Frizzle to release a short section a later production of the opera, in an English version, on YouTube, published on Sep 30, , The start of a complete performance preservation from the English National Opera's first production in English of the powerful opera version by Poul Ruders music and Paul Bentley libretto of the Margaret Atwood novel.

Another musical adaptation of the novel was produced in January by Chris Garrard who put on YouTube on March 28, , three highlights of the three parts of his chamber opera.

It is interesting to see that more modern version of the story, even if we cannot have the whole opera. The three highlights are available as follows. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Composed by Chris Garrard. Dramaturgy by Lore Lixenberg with the cast and crew. There are also a few excerpts published at the time in the press of by the RWB.

But it remains a fact that the first musical adaptation is Poul Ruders and it is worth a lot in the way it deals and processes the problem of women's sexual exploitation, if not enslavement.

It all starts with a Biblical quotation from Genesis, the story of Jacob. The opera only quotes Genesis but the reference is, of course, clear to every listener and they have a wide excerpt in mind.

For the women will call me happy'; so she named him Asher. They were "Arabs" or "Egyptians" as they are called in the Old Testament.

Jacob uses his wife's maid twice and gets two sons. Then he uses his wife's sister's maid to produce two more sons. This double duality is extremely heavy in the Old Testament. We must also keep in mind that Abraham will do the same thing with his wife's maid to get his first son, Ishmael and that then his wife will give birth to Isaac.

This wife will request the expulsion of Ishmael and his mother to the desert, clearly to die there, but they were saved by God and Ishmael became the ancestor of all Muslims later on. This reference to the Old Testament is of course discussed and criticized by many, though it is difficult to really ignore that the Old Testament considered this situation as rather banal and Solomon will also have some kind of a love affair with a certain Queen of Sheba who was not a Jew and this love affair is referred to with reverence in Jewish, Islamic and Ethiopian traditions.

Strangely enough, the Christians are more or less minimizing these stories. The end of the story is more ambiguous than in the novel and in the film. Offred is arrested but the Commander has not been assassinated by her and Nick does not play a big role.

She is more or less arrested for her "fornication" though it was imposed on her by the Commander. So we don't know where she is going and what is going to happen.

The Handmaid's Tale

I have given myself over in the hands of strangers. And so I step into the darkness or else the light. The society that had been described here is absolute as the fate of failed Handmaids. Either the colonies to die under toxic and excessive work, or the Jezebel's, the entertaining shady house where the male elite and male foreign visitors can relax in forbidden goods, comfort and pleasures. There is no light in that.

Apart from that, the opera follows rather well the story, though closer to the novel than to the older film. This enables the composer of keeping many flashbacks to the "time before" when Offred was a woman married to Luke and having a daughter. These flashbacks also portray the transformation of the old society into an absolute puritan and fundamentalist regime governed by males, excluding blacks, homosexuals, welfare people, and women. This splitting of Offred into two characters is also very pregnant about the total uprooting of handmaids who are supposed to forget their past.

At this level, we have to consider the production and the music. The production runs into a problem without the visual show in front of our eyes. Female characters are by far dominant in numbers and they are apparently all of them very close in range with five mezzo-sopranos and four sopranos. That makes it difficult for us to follow most of the scenes. Since this version is the original in Danish it is also slightly difficult to follow what is being said, if you are not used to Danish.

But apart from this difficulty due to the fact it is a live recording and not a studio recording that could have slightly differentiated the various voices , we must say the music is often surprising and even disturbing. It uses in many transition moments noise as well as music. These noises could correspond to something projected onto the screen used on the stage, but it also creates a universe of metallic strong powerful at times discordant noises that wrap us up into a very frustrating sound universe.

On the other hand, the music is quite modern in its lack of harmony and often softness. It is hard just like the suffering of these women. It is distant and cold just like the fate of these women. It can even be erratic and disturbing just like the split of these women between their remembered past and their submission to a life that has no past and no future. The system would like them to become nonchalant in this doom, but it is impossible and the music reminds us of this impossibility in its very shrill and often broken discordance.

This remark of mine has to be applied to the flashbacks in which the music or the noise is not becoming in any way softer or sweeter. The flashbacks are not sweet memories and soft recollections. They are dramatic nightmarish haunting visions that cannot in any way either be tamed into virtual souvenirs of a happy time, or eradicated and uprooted and expelled from the handmaids' memory.

It is in no way the memory you could cherish. It is a read-only repetitively-random haunting memory that can never be stopped, curbed or pushed aside. The music is perfect for that purpose. And when we watch the small section uploaded online by Norman Frizzle we really think the whole video should be edited and provided to the public. The sound recording of the opera makes us think it should be a priority. But so many things have been changed.

First of all, special insistence is used to show this Gilead Republic as particularly brutal against any opponents who refuse their reading of the Christian Scriptures, but also against the handmaids themselves who are constantly suffering punishments and sanctions and hostility from everyone or nearly.

All lower-status individuals are regulated by this dress code. All "non-persons" are banished to the "Colonies". Sterile, unmarried women are considered to be non-persons. Both men and women sent there wear grey dresses. Legitimate women[ edit ] Wives The top social level permitted to women, achieved by marriage to higher-ranking officers.

Wives always wear blue dresses and cloaks, suggesting traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary in historic Christian art. When a Commander dies, his Wife becomes a Widow and must dress in black. Daughters The natural or adopted children of the ruling class.

They wear white until marriage, which is now arranged. The narrator's daughter may have been adopted by an infertile Wife and Commander and she is shown in a photograph wearing a long white dress.

Handmaids The bonnets that Handmaids wear are modelled on Old Dutch Cleanser's faceless mascot, which Atwood in childhood found frightening.

Handmaids dress in ankle-length red dresses, white caps, and heavy boots. In summer, they change into lighter-weight but still ankle-length dresses and slatted shoes. When in public, in winter, they wear ankle-length red cloaks, red gloves, and heavy white bonnets , which they call "wings" because the sides stick out, blocking their peripheral vision and shielding their faces from view.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Handmaids are women of proven fertility who have broken the law. The law includes both gender crimes, such as lesbianism; and religious crimes, such as adultery redefined to include sexual relationships with divorced partners since divorce is no longer legal. The Republic of Gilead justifies the use of the handmaids for procreation by referring to two biblical stories: Genesis —13 and Genesis —4.

In the first story, Jacob's infertile wife Rachel offers up her handmaid Bilhah to be a surrogate mother on her behalf, and then her sister Leah does the same with her own handmaid Zilpah even though Leah has already given Jacob many sons. In the other story, which appears earlier in Genesis but is cited less frequently, Abraham has sex with his wife's handmaid, Hagar.

Handmaids are assigned to Commanders and live in their houses. When unassigned, they live at training centers. Handmaids who successfully bear children continue to live at their commander's house until their children are weaned, at which point they are sent to a new assignment.

Those who do produce children, however, will never be declared "Unwomen" or sent to the Colonies, even if they never have another baby. Aunts Trainers of the Handmaids. They dress in brown. Aunts promote the role of Handmaid as an honorable way for a sinful woman to redeem herself. They also police the Handmaids, beating some and ordering the maiming of others.

The aunts have an unusual amount of autonomy, compared to other women of Gilead. They are the only class of women permitted to read. However, on p. The voice was a man's. They dress in green smocks. The title of "Martha" is based on the story of Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary Gospel of Luke —42 , where Jesus visits Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha ; Mary listens to Jesus while Martha works at "all the preparations that had to be made".

Econowives Women married to men of lower-rank, not members of the elite. They are expected to perform all the female functions: domestic duties, companionship, and child-bearing. Their dress is multicoloured red, blue, and green to reflect these multiple roles, and is made of notably cheaper material. The division of labour among the women generates some resentment. Marthas, Wives and Econowives perceive Handmaids as promiscuous and are taught to scorn them.

Offred mourns that the women of the various groups have lost their ability to empathize with each other. They are divided in their oppression. Illegitimate women[ edit ] Unwomen Sterile women, the unmarried, some widows, feminists, lesbians, nuns, and politically dissident women: all women who are incapable of social integration within the Republic's strict gender divisions.

Gilead exiles Unwomen to "the Colonies", areas both of agricultural production and deadly pollution. Joining them are handmaids who fail to bear a child after three two-year assignments. Jezebels Women forced to become prostitutes and entertainers. They are available only to the Commanders and to their guests. Offred portrays Jezebels as attractive and educated; they may be unsuitable as handmaids due to temperament.

They have been sterilized, a surgery that is forbidden to other women. They operate in unofficial but state-sanctioned brothels, unknown to most women. Jezebels, whose title also comes from the Bible note Queen Jezebel in the Books of Kings , dress in the remnants of sexualized costumes from "the time before", such as cheerleaders' costumes, school uniforms, and Playboy Bunny costumes. Jezebels can wear make-up, drink alcohol and socialize with men, but are tightly controlled by the Aunts.

Men are classified into four main categories: Commanders of the Faithful The ruling class. Because of their status, they are entitled to establish a patriarchal household with a Wife, a Handmaid if necessary, Marthas female servants and Guardians. They have a duty to procreate, but many may be infertile, as a possible result of exposure to a biological agent in pre-Gilead times. They wear black to signify superiority. Eyes The secret police attempting to discover those violating the rules of Gilead.

Angels Soldiers who fight in the wars in order to expand and protect the country's borders. Angels may be permitted to marry. Guardians of the Faith Soldiers "used for routine policing and other menial functions". They are unsuitable for other work in the republic being "stupid or older or disabled or very young, apart from the ones that are Eyes incognito" chapter 4. Young Guardians may be promoted to Angels when they come of age.

They wear green uniforms. Men who engage in homosexuality or related acts are declared "gender traitors"; they are either hanged or sent to the Colonies to die a slow death. In this society, birth defects have become increasingly common.

There are two main categories of human children: Unbabies, also known as "shredders" Babies born physically deformed or with some other birth defect. They do not last but Offred does not know what happens to them. Pregnant Handmaids fear giving birth to a damaged child, or unbaby. Gilead forbids abortion and all tests to determine prenatal health of a fetus. Keepers The Ceremony[ edit ] "The Ceremony" is a non-marital sexual act sanctioned for reproduction.

The ritual requires the Handmaid to lie on her back between the legs of the Wife during the sex act as if they were one person. The Wife has to invite the Handmaid to share her power this way; many Wives consider this both humiliating and offensive. Offred describes the ceremony: My red skirt is hitched up to my waist, though no higher. Below it the Commander is fucking. What he is fucking is the lower part of my body. I do not say making love, because this is not what he's doing. Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people and only one is involved.

Serena proposes that Offred mate with Nick. Offred, who deduces that Serena is sincerely eager for a child, accepts the proposal as a last-ditch effort to conceive. As payment for her role in the conspiracy, Serena hands Offred a cigarette and promises to try to procure a photo of her daughter. He explains the revolution that produced the misogynist state of Gilead: Better never means better for everyone.

It always means worse, for some. Above the cordoned-off contingent of Handmaids, higher-ranking females file into gallery seats. Offred returns to her room and thinks over a melange of whirling thoughts: During a night with the Commander, Offred finds him already well into his evening drinks. He affectionately presents her with a used, sequined, feathered evening garment, high heels, and makeup.

The Commander slips her a purple wrist tag to indicate that she is a paid escort. They enter a room filled with garishly dressed women in bizarre costumes and excessive makeup. The Commander shows her off to club regulars. Offred grows annoyed with his chauvinism. Among the varied females is Moira, who signals Offred to meet her in the washroom in five minutes. During two visits, Moira fills in details of her escape from the Red Center to the safe house of a Quaker couple, whose names were among those on an underground press list.

Refitted in civilian dress, Moira left the house, which was a station of the Underground Femaleroad, hid in a mail sack, and was driven into Boston and on to Salem, where she transferred to a chicken truck bound for Maine.

The Quakers intended to move her across the Canadian border by boat. The dangerous work with lethal substances usually kills these outcasts within three years. Wearied, sad, and nearly inert, Offred stretches out beside her lover, who appears old and shrunken after he removes his clothes.

He is disappointed by her lack of enthusiasm for illicit sex that is free of the constraints of their monthly ceremonial copulation, which is due to take place the next night. They must return home by midnight. Commentary This segment is rich with death images. The tenor of this passage depicts the intolerance of religious fanatics, who root out all but those who share their dogma.

To earn the right to serve men, nightclub regulars must keep trim, dress in absurdly scanty garments and push-up bras, smile, dance, and play dumb. Sons of Jacob In Genesis Aztec hearts The ancient Aztecs worshipped at stone altars, where priests used obsidian knives to cut the hearts from sacrificial human victims. The searchlights are off. Inside his door, a spartan scene confronts Offred. The denuded walls and barracks-like atmosphere preface a silent, unromantic coupling.

Fantasizing, Offred, starved for sexual contact with a man her own age and a social equal, comes alive with passion. In reality, Offred is unsure of herself and hurries Nick, who makes a crude joke about a passionless act of artificial insemination.

In retrospect, Offred is shamed by her enjoyment of their perfunctory, clandestine intercourse and suffers guilt for betraying Luke.

Commentary Repeatedly, Atwood superimposes two crucial themes—paranoia and betrayal.

In a newly formed theocracy where women can lose all rights to jobs, property, family, name, and self in one swift coup, it is not surprising that Offred wonders whom to trust and how much. After she loses both her job and her personal bank account, the mutually satisfying husband-wife relationship with Luke that produced a little girl instantly withers. Her private thoughts turn him into a pseudo-enemy—just another male usurping her personhood. Tragic in her uncertainty, she ponders a difficult rhetorical question: Careless of the danger that she courts, Offred talks freely to Nick about Moira and Ofglen, but never of Luke or the Handmaid who died in her room; nor does she talk of love, the bad luck word.

Offred, for the first time since the takeover in Gilead, is content. The event concludes with an added attraction: The accused rapist tries to express innocence, but the Handmaids ignore his protestation and kick, jab, tear, and pummel him to death. This eruption of beast-like violence affects all participants. That afternoon, Offred joins a new Ofglen. Offred fears that the former Ofglen may betray her to the authorities.

In terror of harm to Luke, Moira, mother, or child, Offred knows that she would comply with interrogators, even if they aimed reprisals at her family. She saw the van coming for her. Commentary Atwood appears to blend her own persona with that of Offred as Offred expresses her regrets for the hesitations, distractions, and rapid-fire articulation of the preceding chapters.

To maintain a shred of sanity, she copes with madness through her affair with Nick and clings to a fantasized form of what Martin Buber refers to as the I-Thou relationship.

Particicution—execution by dismemberment. Deuteronomy Word perfect—the trademark of a popular computer word processing program. She weighs her alternatives: Suddenly, Nick enters her room and urges her to go with agents from Mayday.

Clutching at his call for trust, she exits with two unidentified men. On her way through the foyer, she passes Serena and the Commander, who demands a warrant for so abrupt and irregular an intrusion into his home. Serena calls her a bitch; Cora weeps.

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Commentary Unable to assess her situation, Offred faces a dilemma. The ambiguity of this final view of Offred leaves many questions: So empty is her store of emotional strength that the reader must confront honest doubts that she survives the wiliness and duplicity of the Eyes of Gilead. Peter Lawford reprised the role in a television series of the same name.

Atwood mentions Massachusetts Avenue, students sculling the river, shoppers riding subways from the outskirts into the heart of the city, and antiquarian interest in old gravestones and colonial architecture.

Leaving out secret details, Moira relates to Offred how she escaped Gilead. By connecting with Quaker station tenders of the Underground Femaleroad on a one-to-one basis, Moira reaches the center of the city in a mail sack. She hoped to escape to Canada via the sea route—up the cast coast and around the peninsula.

The Chair, Professor Maryann Crescent Moon, indicates in her welcome to delegates that the creation of the Gileadean theocracy caused a remapping of the world. To answer questions of how, when, and by whom the tapes were made and stored, Pieixoto searched fruitlessly for information about the safe house in Bangor, then resorted to an examination of the few remaining printouts from Gilead, which were smuggled to England by Save the Women societies.

Waterford and B. Frederick Judd, both Commanders and directors of the Eyes. The former, the husband of Thelma Waterford, was killed in a purge for liberal leanings and for harboring a turncoat. Pieixoto surmises that Offred may have escaped to Canada or England, but chose not to go public with her story out of fear of retaliation against her family. Also, the implications of each musical performance carry their own freight of meaning: Likewise, the Dene, who are Native American ancestors of the Athapascan aborigines, inhabit the Northwest Territories of Canada south of the tree line.

Another sound-alike is Danae, the character from Greek mythology who was impregnated by a ray of sunlight from Zeus while she was imprisoned. After giving birth, Danae and her child were cast into the sea. As a result of the hostile political climate at a time when Rome became a part of the Italian kingdom, the state vs.

Krishna—a light-hearted, sensual Hindu god connected with music and dance. Kali—a paradoxical Hindu goddess of creativity and destruction. The Warsaw Tactic: As disease, starvation, and exportation to death camps decimated the number of Jews, the authorities began reducing the perimeter of the ghetto, thus squeezing the inhabitants into a smaller and more easily controlled compound.

On April 19, , German and Lithuanian soldiers joined Polish firemen and police in a brutal attack against the remaining 60, Jews, who put up a brave, but doomed resistance. Sumptuary Laws—legal regulation of food, drink, color and style of clothing, personal adornment and download and display or use of luxury items, such as furs, glass windows, chimneys, and dishes made of silver or gold.

Monotheocracies—religious dictatorships based on the worship of one god. Arctic char—a pun on a small-scaled trout and the British slang for charwoman, a domestic worker. Bangor, Maine—city in south central Maine. Brewer, across the bridge from Bangor, was once a Quaker waystation on the Underground Railroad. From Brewer, abolitionists could transport escaping slaves downriver to the Atlantic Ocean and northeast around the coast to Canada. Frailroad—a multiple pun on Women as the weaker sex and the pejorative slang term frail, meaning a girl or woman.

In disgust at her haste to remarry, Hamlet mutters: Eurydice—in Greek mythology, the luckless bride bitten by a snake on her wedding day. Her husband, Orpheus, the famed musician, convinced Hades to let Eurydice return to earth. However, Orpheus disobeyed the strictures of the journey and looked at Eurydice too soon, thus dispatching her back to the abode of the dead forever.

Rather, it blends a number of approaches and formats in a radical departure from predictable sci-fi or thriller fiction or feminist literature. As a modern-day Cassandra, Offred seems emotionally and spiritually compelled to tell her story, if only to relieve the ennui of her once nun-like existence and to touch base with reality. Her bleak fictional narrative connects real events of the s with possible ramifications for a society headed too far into conservatism and a mutated form of World War 11 fascism.

In frequent night scenes, during which Offred gazes through shatterproof glass into the night sky in an effort to shore up her flagging soul, her debates with herself reflect the thin edge that separates endurance from crazed panic. By the end of her tale, she has undergone so much treachery and loss of belief and trust that the likelihood of total mental, spiritual, and familial reclamation is slim.

In the face of rampant sexual license, gang rape, pornography, venereal disease, abortion protest, and the undermining of traditional values, the fundamentalists who set up Gilead fully expect to improve human life.

However, as the Commander admits, some people are fated to fall short of the template within which the new society is shaped, the ethical yardstick by which behavior is measured. Indigenous to dystopian fiction is the perversion of technology, as evidenced in Brave New World, , Anthem, and R. Only after repeated attempts to access her funds does Offred realize that control of assets no longer exists for the women of Gilead. From credit card subversion, the faceless radical hierarchy moves quickly to presidential assassination, murder of members of Congress, prohibition of women from schools and the work force, control of the media, and banning of basic freedoms.

Controlled by Identipasses, Compudoc, Computalk, Compucount, and Compuchek, she must rely on the most primitive measures of gaining information and securing hope, even the translation of scrawled Latin doggerel on her closet wall.

Interestingly, Atwood does not resort to farfetched wizardry. Her astute use of televangelism, cattle prods, credit cards, roadblocks, border passes, computer printouts, barbed wire, public executions, and color-coded uniforms reflects the possibilities of subversion of current technology and social control devices.

Her facile expression of thought processes and manipulation of language to probe the psychological perversions in Gilead produce fascinating, multilevel rhetorical maneuvers, often juxtaposing weakness with power or cruelty with vulnerability.

For instance: His skin is pale and looks unwholesomely tender, like the skin under a scab. The camera moves to the sky, where hundreds of balloons rise, trailing their strings: Is anything wrong dear? No, why? You moved. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

My God. Who Art in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within. I think the word relish. I could eat a horse. Bestir yourself. Move your flesh around, breathe audibly. What they used to call May Day. In your hands, she said, looking down at her own hands as if they had given her the idea.

But there was nothing in them. They were empty. I remember the day. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn?

Women know that instinctively. Why did they download so many different clothes, in the old days? To trick the men into thinking they were several different women. The interplay between Aunts and Handmaids-to-be creates an intense effort at subjugation and indoctrination. So thoroughly indoctrinated is Offred that she admits enjoying taunting Janine, a victim of gang rape, and even succumbs to mass hysteria and takes an active role in a public execution.

Lacking the tough courage of a rebel, she keeps before her the examples of her mother and of Moira, both capable of razzing the establishment, of subverting authority.

A little like a sorrowful child herself, she looks back at her own daughter and dares hope that the child retains some memory of mother love. A cloyingly complicitous trainee at Red Center, Janine annoys even the iron-spined Aunt Lydia with her ecstasy and cathartic reliving of gang rape. However, Atwood rescues Janine from the stereotype of the sycophant by revealing an early scene of mental derangement, followed by a headforward, contraction-wracked birthing, and tears for little Angela, the handicapped infant whom she can never claim as her own.

Clustered about Janine and the other breeders is the pecking order of Gilead womanhood: Serena Joy is a composite drawn from Mirabel Morgan, Tammy Faye Baker, and Phyllis Schlafly; she is the true turncoat against women and must live with her futile hope for a return to traditional womanhood. Her own television career curtailed, Serena now suffers the pain of arthritis as her joints, like her compassion, freeze up.

Her hands, endlessly turning out geometrically cloned hominids on knitted wool scarves, reach for the effusive flowers that mock her sterility.

Like Niobe, the weeping non-mother of Greek mythology, Serena has no choice but to support Offred in concubinage to the Commander and surreptitious couplings with Nick if the family is ever to produce a child. Oddly, on all levels of this sterile, soulless theocracy, the dynamics of God play virtually no part.

As a worshipper, the Commander locks away the family Bible, which he, as male family head, retrieves for a brief reading before the monthly mating ceremony. Likewise, males like the Commander, Nick, and street guards must fit the tight pattern of role expectation or else suffer the consequence.

According to the Twelfth Symposium, Commander Frederick Waterford is one of the many who fell short of the first cut. The terroristic cabal that wipes out the world of Luke and Offred, like the Puritanism of seventeenth-century New England, collapses, leaving behind enough shards of its quirky idiosyncrasies to make it an attractive focus for Professor Crescent Moon and Professor Pieixoto.

Like a pterodactyl fallen from the sky and left to fossilize, Gilead precedes a period of multiculturalism, as evidenced by the names, nationalities, locale, and studies of dignitaries at the Twelfth Symposium of Gileadean Studies.

A weak, hopeful sign is the name of Professor Maryann Crescent Moon, suggesting both rebel novelist Mary Ann Evans and a sliver of night light in the waxing stage, an eternal symbol of fecundity and womanly powers. Setting Atwood draws settings evocative of a fast-paced shift of moods. Without warning, Offred deserts a bland meal to enter the Birthmobile and hurry to the home of Commander Warren. Incapable of guessing what he might want with her—more passionate sex, perversion, maybe even torture—she is nonplussed to enter a Scrabble competition, calling on word talents she has almost lost through months of living without books or newspapers.

Recalling that the nightclub was once a hotel, she pictures herself spending afternoons in clandestine meetings with Luke. Like a foretaste of doom, a tolling bell summons Offred and the rest of the female population to a Salvaging and Particicution. So unnerved is the main character that she returns to her room in an irrational state.

The familiar street scene in Chapter 44 yanks Offred further into mental trauma—Ofglen has evaded arrest by killing herself. By night, Offred stares from the window and enumerates her choices, ranging from fire and murder to a plea for mercy to flight to an agonized suicide.

In one quick scene, Nick and two escorts whisk her down the stairs, past the Commander and Serena Joy, and into the van, an ambiguous Hellmouth that could lead to freedom or a hook on the Wall. Some significant changes in the action include these: Enumerate characteristics and restrictions that repress, embitter, disenfranchise, and dishearten residents.

Explain how Atwood builds on realities, such as funerals for fetuses, endangered whales, Islamic fanaticism, group therapy, IRA terrorism, surrogate motherhood, and other items from current events as well as product names such as Wordperfect, Joy, and Lydia Pinkham, in the creation of a satiric fantasy.

How does the capricious distribution of power affect both characters? Extend this study of power and subjugation to other dystopian films, especially Fahrenheit , , Lord of the Flies, and A Clockwork Orange.

The Handmaid's Tale

Study the stratification of female society in Gilead. Apply terms such as sexual politics, postfeminism, conservative backlash, Mommy TYack, Glass Ceiling, and pink-collar jobs. Emphasize the emotional and spiritual accommodations to trauma and repression that enable victims to survive. Discuss the role of underground support groups like Mayday.

Contrast the coping mechanisms of Moira and Offred, particularly defiance, rebellion, escape, assertiveness, sexual indulgence, smoking, drugs, networking, and withdrawal. Discuss the use of ambiguity as an adjunct to irony and satire. Pantheon, What do the two speakers gain by appearing to examine inhumanity from a dispassionate point of view? In an interview with Lindsy Van Gelder for Ms. Canadian Writers at Work: Interviews with Geoff Hancock.

Oxford University Press, , Contemporary Authors New Revision Series.

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Volume Gale Research, Contemporary Literary Criticism. Margaret Atwood: Princeton, N. Ontario Review Press, Canadian Writers and Their Work. Fiction Series, Volume 9.

ECW Press, Introduction to banking. Mary Ellen Snodgrass. During the Particicution, Janine, her eyes denoting madness, benignly smiles at the savagery she participates in. According to Professor Pieixoto in the epilogue, "Serena Joy" or "Pam" are pseudonyms; the character's real name is implied to be Thelma. Serena calls her a bitch; Cora weeps. Materials of Adire production are many, but cloth and dye are indispensable in Adire production. Available at http: