Communication In The Handmaid's Tale

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If this were to be a world similar to that of Offred’s in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, then this very essay would never even exist. This would be a world in which a woman would certainly not be allowed to sit at a computer and type out her thoughts. Writing, speaking, singing; these are all ways a woman, or any other person, can communicate their own feelings. However, being able to communicate one’s thoughts is not a privilege women can enjoy in Gilead. Women are allowed neither to read nor write, and even their everyday speech must be restrained. Communication, whether it be written or verbal, is truly powerful, so powerful in fact that the government of Gilead thinks to reserve it solely for men. Prohibited from having this power,…show more content…
The Handmaid’s Tale is a collection of tape recordings of Offred’s account of her life. She is making these recordings in order for others to hear her true story as well as the story of others. For instance, the story of Moira, a friend whom Offred assumes is dead soon after their last encounter, is included in her recount. Offred also hears stories from others. The unbiased, transparent truth comes from the seedier underbelly of Gilead’s society, while the Commander’s, the Aunt’s, and the media preach lies or purposefully leave out crucial information. The Commander reads from the Bible some nights, selecting specific verses to prove that a man should have multiple partners. Offred often hears Bible verses quoted and “...[knows they are] wrong… but there [is] no way of checking” (Atwood, 89) due to the undeniable reality that she is not permitted to read. She also notes that news stations only show victories and limit the footage the viewer sees. However, in many cases, Offred lies to her audience, afterward saying something along the lines of “I made that up. It didn’t happen that way” (Atwood, 261). These moments of deception are usually reserved for stories of how others react towards her. She also will abruptly cut off a story of her distant past, if it is too painful to talk about. In her story, Offred…show more content…
The simple idea that someone had had the courage to write this gives her hope, regardless of the meaning of the phrase. She prays these words at church. This sentence and a pillow inscribed with ‘faith’ are the only things she is able to read. Hope also comes in the form of Moira, who had fearlessly escaped the center, and, as far as Offred knows, could still be fighting for her freedom. Offred escapes her reality by losing herself in stories from her past, some jovial, some tragic, and some mundane. Soon, she really does escape and frees herself from the Commander. The audience is left to wonder, in the end, if Offred really is free. In order to be able to tell her own, uncensored story, Offred has to be free, as this is not something women are allowed to do in Gilead. And, in the very act of telling her story, she becomes free from the horrific past she has been bound
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