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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Moira is Offred's best friend. She is a part of Offred's life in all three time phases of the novel. In the "time before" they were easy-going college students together, and they meet again at the Red Center. Moira is a strong-willed woman who is not intimidated by the regime. She possesses an irreverent sense of humor and is like a breath of fresh air in the stilted, enclosed, fearful world of the Center. The first thing she says to Offred when they meet again is simply, "This is a loony bin " (ch. 13). This reveals Moira's down-to-earth nature, her willingness to describe things the way they are. Moira has a strength that makes Offred feel safer just because of her presence. There is something indomitable about her. When Moira first tells Offred about her plan to escape, Offred cannot bear the thought of being without her. But Moira is determined. Unlike Offred, she will not put up with how she is treated. She has the courage to resist. Even when she is whipped on the soles of her feet after her failed attempt to escape, she is not broken. She simply comes up with a better plan and escapes again. It seems as if nothing can break her or stop her from being herself. After her escape, Moira becomes a kind of mythic figure for the others at the Red Center, a symbol of defiance and resistance. Because of Moira, Offred says, "the Aunts were less fearsome and more absurd. Their power had a flaw in it" (ch.
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