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The Handmaid's Tale versus I Will Keep Broken Things Essay example

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People require energy to function. Energy is provided by fuel. For humans, fuel is not simply food and water, but rather, love and a sense of meaning. This is the truth; life is not complete without love. In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, handmaid is the name given to a women placed within a Commander’s home for the purpose of reproduction. Offred is the narrator of this dystopian society, and she bears the burden of being separated from her husband and daughter to fulfill her new role in society. In “I Will Keep Broken Things” by Alive Walker, a woman conveys her emotions through an incredibly fractured poem. She is broken, and suffers from loss, as she produces imagery of an urn (Walker 4-5), and refers to memories, as if the person providing context to her message, is no longer there. For Offred in Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale and the narrator of Walker’s poem “I Will Keep Broken Things”, love is essential, without it, life is not whole. Both Atwood and Walker show that when love is taken away, people focus upon the past, and use memories as motivators. Additionally, the cliché “it is better to love and lose, than to never love at all” fits perfectly, as both characters find themselves able to change their perspective of loss, which allows them to cope, and display a true demonstration of how loss translates to strength. Love is a powerful, unique force that cannot be measured and without it, life is incomplete.
Offred and the narrator of Walker’s poem both reflect upon memories that could be deemed insignificant by anybody who cannot truly empathize with their situation. An instance of this occurs as Offred reflects on nights shared with during her time alone under Gileadean rule (Atwood 103). Similarly, a...


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... strengthens them as they move past it. It shapes lives, determining individuality and pathways to the future. When love is taken away, people turn to their memories to gather motivation and composure. During this they can become lost in the past and grow as a person before returning to reality. Love is essential, without it, life is not whole. But with it, even if it is lost, people may motivate themselves to complete a journey, and bring clarity to their lives. This perseverance leads to strength, and the ability to look at things differently. The Handmaid’s Tale by Atwood and “I Will Keep Broken Things” by Walker demonstrate the force love can have, and how essential it is to being complete. If you can’t go through the wall, go around it; perspective is crucial to success.


Works Cited

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Alice Walker, I Will Keep Broken Things


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