Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale

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Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale "Writing is an act of faith; I believe it's also an act of hope, the hope that things can be better than they are" MargaretAtwood Offred is an oppressed woman in the patriarchal society of Gilead. She is telling her story to an unknown reader. We learn about Offred through her own personal private thoughts. The novel shifts abruptly from one scene to another and from present time to the past, so that Offred's present situation and her past are only gradually revealed. She uses her storytelling as survival tactic, it gives her hope that maybe someone will listen to it one day. Atwood uses "night" as a chapter heading several times, this is the time when Offred reminisces about the past. "The night is mine." Offred is not repressed or told what to do at night. She is free because nobody can control her thoughts. Offred tries to stay positive throughout the novel by re-creating people from her past. She believes there still alive and reconstructs them in her memory. We learn about them as the novel goes on bit by bit and we hear mostly only the good things about them. Offred often remembers her best friend, Moira, who is her strength and her hope throughout the novel. "Moira was our fantasy. We hugged her to us, she Was in secret, a giggle; she was lava beneath the crust of daily life. In Light Moira, Aunts were less fearsome and more absurd." Moira is an inspiration to all the Hand... ... middle of paper ... ...red 200 years later to us, the readers, and we're left to decide what has happened to her and how her story ended. The historical notes help us to understand why Offred's narrative was fragmented, because her story was recorded on tapes which weren't in the right order and so had to be pieced together. However the notes do not tell us whether she escaped or not, we don't know if she recorded these while still in the regime or after she escaped. We are still left with unanswered questions at the end of the novel and Offred's story remains incomplete. Atwood wanted us, as readers, to view our own society and to see the faults in it. She is trying to emphasis people's complacency and how we get used to things and can't be bothered to change our situation. Atwood believes things can be changed to be better than they are.
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