She can remember her job, her love for her husband, her daughter, her mother, her friends; particularly Moira, her education and the successes and failures of everyday life. Throughout the book she tries to hold on to these, but eventually they begin to fade away. Luke and her daughter slip into past tense. She fears that she is finally betraying Luke when she has her affair with Nick, and she feels erased by time, no longer a presence in her daughters existence. I sit in the chair and think about the word chair.
It can also mean the leader of a meeting. It can also mean a mode of execution. It is the first syllable in charity¦ On many occasions throughout the novel Offred plays with language. Language is one of the central symbolic themes of the novel and it is something that is restricted and demoted in Gilead. Barbara Hill Rigney2 described Atwoods use of such a mechanism in the Handmaids Tale to represent Offreds oppression as: Language is a fragile protest, but it represents the only salvation possible.
I believe this is absolutely true in that Offred being able to relate her story to somebody else is what keeps her sane. It gives her some form of escape where she does not have to be someone she isnt, yet she can choose to be exactly what she wants; its her story, her choices. According to Amin Malik1 what makes Atwoods book such a moving tale is its clever technique in presenting the heroine initially as a vice like sleepwalker conceiving disjointed perceptions of its surroundings, as well as flashing reminiscences about a bygone life.
As the scenes gather more details and momentum, Offreds narrative transfigures into a full roundedness that parallels her maturing comprehension of what is happening around her. Atwood skilfully manipulates the time sequence between Offreds past (pre-Gilead) and the present: those shifting reminiscences offer glimpses of a life, though not ideal, still filled with energy, creativity, humaneness and a sense of selfhood, a life that sharply contrasts with the alienation, slavery and suffering under totalitarianism.
1. Amin Malik, Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale and the Dystopian Tradition, 1987 2. Barbara Hill Rigney- Atwood Critic Published by Macmillan Press 1987. Dec 2003 Miss. Slocombe Nasima Begum 12B Pg 1 of 3 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Margaret Atwood section.