The Handmaid's Tale: Offred Chapters 1 to 4

The Handmaid's Tale: Offred Chapters 1 to 4

Length: 827 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The story starts with a woman reflecting on her past (Offred), she has been living in an army-based camp with other girls. She starts with describing the history of the room where she is now based, talking (in detail) about old surroundings which have now gone to pass. She describes the changing of room quite distinctively; a quote to support this could be `old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name.' This suggests that any cheerful moment in this room has been a really long time ago, or that's what it seems.

At this point there seems to be one main character (setting the scene, and the past scene as this is important to the story) but she mentions others as well, which will be involved later on, the first chapter seems to represent the foundation to what is going to happen later on.

The setting remains the same throughout this chapter but the scenery changes quite dramatically. From varnished wood and stripes and painted circles the scenery transforms into army cots and army issue blankets. This seems to cry out a lot of powerful emotion to the reader as the army image continues to come up, keeping a clear focus on what main be one of the main issues of the story.

The language used portrays the characters thoughts and emotions for example she goes into great detail about her surroundings (her life) and the events which had taken place there .She talks about her environment as if she is closely connected with the associations to which she describes.

Regarding the connection between the aunts and angels, the woman talks about them being her family, and at first you see them as guardians but straight afterwards they are portrayed as prison guards with harmful weapons. This irony plays a strong part in who is meant to play the good guys and who the bad.

The intimacy in the last paragraph of the chapter represents a unity holding on to each other bravely, as strength to survive what may happen to them. Atwood achieves this intimate effect by cleverly summarizing the chapter as a whole paragraph to emphasize love, intensity and courage for them to stay alive and not fade away like the gymnasium.

Chapter 2 opens with a commentary of images and improper sentences (but statements) possibly to clarify Offreds surroundings but also to emphasize important or unimportant images encircling around her.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Handmaid's Tale: Offred Chapters 1 to 4." 17 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

- Within every literary work there lies a resounding truth which perfectly displays the dangers of a broken world or society. In her novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood uses different ideas in her novel to convey how passivity in a broken society has detrimental effects for everyone. Throughout the novel, it is displayed that in such a dystopian society, nothing can progress in the right direction if nobody has the courage to defy the system. Through Atwood’s context given throughout her text, her stance on passivity is clearly shown as one that urges others to stand and fight instead of becoming submissive to a fragmented society....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Offred's Struggle to Maintain Control Over Her Own Life in The Handmaid's Tale

- How Effectively Does Atwood Present Offred's Struggle to Establish/Maintain Control Over Her Own Life/Identity The Handmaids Tale is a woman's autobiographical narrative that challenges the absolute authority of Gilead, highlighting the significance of story telling as an act of resistance against oppression, thereby making a particular kind of individual political statement. Such as when Offred steals the butter from the dinner table to use as hand and face cream. " There's a pat of butter on the side of the plate....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Jezebel's from The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- Margaret Atwood – The Handmaids Tale – Jezebel’s In this essay, I will discuss how the section of “jezebel’s” (chapter 31-39) contributes to the development of the novel of “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Margaret Atwood). The term “jezebel” derives from the Bible, as Jezebel was a woman who conveyed wickedness upon the kingdom of king Ahab. Also, the term jezebel is often used to describe a dissenting woman. The section of “jezebels” is significant in the novel of the handmaids tale, as it provides different views as to the importance of women, they roles etc, compared to the rest of the novel....   [tags: English Literature]

Research Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

Power in The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- Power in The Handmaid's Tale As you read through the handmaid’s tale you see the relationships of the characters develop and the fight for power, however small that glimpse of power may be. The images of power can be seen through out the novel, but there are major parts that stand out to the reader from the aunt’s in the training centre to the secret meetings between the Commander and Offred. The first we see of the struggles of power between people is when the novel opens and we first see the aunts of the red centre with their electric cattle prods and their stern moral teaching and their stern looks....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1127 words (3.2 pages)

The Characters of Women in The Handmaid's Tale and The Bell Jar Essay

- Women in The Handmaid's Tale and The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath's renowned autobiographical legend "The Bell Jar" and Margaret Atwood's fictional masterpiece "The handmaid's tale" are the two emotional feminist stories, which basically involve the women's struggle. Narrated with a touching tone and filled with an intense feminist voice, both novels explore the conflict of their respective protagonists in a male dominated society. In spite of several extraordinary similarities in terms of influential characterization and emotive themes, both novels are diverse as far as their respective style, structure and setting is concerned....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Research Papers
1510 words (4.3 pages)

Film Critic Jason Guerrasio Discusses Children Of Men 's Underlying Theme Of Immigration

- In this article, film critic Jason Guerrasio discusses Children of Men’s underlying theme of immigration. He states that the film "makes a potent case against the anti-immigrant sentiment" that is relevant to what is occurring in modern societies such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Guerrasio describes the film as “a complex meditation on the politics of today,” particularly the controversial debate on immigration. This article from Filmmaker Magazine not only provides a critique of the film, but an interview with director Alfonso Cuaron as well....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Research Papers
1054 words (3 pages)

Essay on the Character of Offred in The Handmaid's Tale

- The Character of Offred in The Handmaid's Tale Offred is one of the main characters in The Handmaid's Tale. She was the faithful wife of Luke, mother of an eleven month old child and a working woman, before she entered the Republic of Gilead. She was given the name "Offred", when she entered Gilead. This was to make it known that she was a handmaid. Offred becomes psychologically programmed in Gilead as a handmaid, and the mistress of the commander who is in power of all things....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Research Papers
1209 words (3.5 pages)

Offred's Narrative Technique in The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- Offred affects every single aspect of "The Handmaid's Tale", so, in order to understand her narrative technique better, her character must also be considered.             Offred is nostalgic, she longs for her pre-Gilead past with which she still identifies very strongly. She is, however, realistic in her longing; she knows that the past was not perfect, that it was no utopia, but she just longs for a situation preferable to her present one, "...We lived, as usual, by ignoring...". Another strong reason for to long for the past is that she was basically happy there, she had a daughter and a lover, both of which she was removed from by the Gilead regime....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Research Papers
1915 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Handmaids Tale

- The aim of the indoctrination centres is clearly shown by the quote: "Some women believed there would be no future, they thought the world would explode. That was the excuse they used, says Aunt Lydia. They said there was no sense in breeding. Aunt Lydia's nostrils narrow: such wickedness. They were lazy women, she says. They were sluts. . . . They made mistakes, says Aunt Lydia. We don't intend to repeat them. Her voice is pious, condescending, the voice of those whose duty it is to tell us unpleasant things for our own good....   [tags: Margaret Atwood]

Free Essays
944 words (2.7 pages)

Free Handmaid's Tale Essays: Offred

- Offred of The Handmaids Tale I have decided to analyze the main character Offred because she seams to feel trapped in this new society. She speaks very openly about the situation thats she's in and plays her actions very well. I will do an overall analysis of her actions. Offred is a very strange character. She follows the new rules of her society unlike her rebellious friend Moira. But you can also tell that Offred misses her family very much and she always goes back in her head to remember the past....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Free Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)

These images seem to be picked up arbitrarily, `A chair, a table, a lamp'. Her environment is her life, her world as she is imprisoned ` when the window is partly open it only opens partly' this is comprehensible as ofred implies that she cant get out of the window, also that it is her only view of the outside world.

She describes everything around her so vividly and with such intent to imply that the majority of her time is situated within those walls. The way in which she talks about the room suggests that there would be nothing she wouldn't be familiar with. Her description and the promoted language she uses tells the reader that she takes

advantage of those household items as if they were the most special fixation that fills her life. Offred talks about everything as if it can be intimately significant; as her lust for sex grows throughout the novel and at this point Atwood is bringing in Offreds sexuality in regard to everyday life. `Sunlight comes in............falls on the floor' the sunlight itself to represent could signify passion as well as freedom and happiness. This contributes to the idea that because she is concealed from the world and posted there only there to breed that she has given up hope for independence and looks to other things to satisfy her want and need for something more than what she's got.' Nothing takes place in the bed but sleep; or no sleep.'

In this chapter colour is emphasized when Offred mentions cushions and composes a point in saying that they're white, `...same white cushions...'Offred says this as if she's bored and that there is no point in getting upset about it all but just accepting the fact that they're there, but there is a tone that would run through this line, it would be sarcasm as if she trying to make fun of herself as she looks into what her life has become and how she even finds looking at curtains funny. Another colour revealed in this chapter is blue, blue irises. This seems to represent nature, (blue sky, freedom). The flowers could act as a metaphor to say that she is trapped within this place yet beautiful life grows outside but not in her, but also that she is life but masked away, just as if she were a fetus, concealed away from the world, waiting for life to happen.

Chapter 3 setting is described so vividly by Offred, this is the chapter in which she goes outside, and the way in which Offred talks about it, its as if she's never been outside.' The tulips are red, a darker crimson towards the stem...' Each tiny detail is looked upon as important and all significant, like Offreds emerging presence has brought everything to life, a triumphant exit it seems, (from her point of view).

She talks about past and presence, describing the garden she used to have, which relates to her depression, as she no longer has it. The depth in which Offred goes into talks about her, in her past life and the way all those things she used to do are now more important as she cant do them now. ` I can remember the smell of the upturned earth, the plump shape of bulbs held in the hands...' this sentence talks not just about Offreds wants but also it underlines a main theme in the novel to do with the senses, here we have SMELL and TOUCH! Offred is reminiscing her past life and comparing it with the existence she has at the moment.

In this chapter we find out more regarding the commanders wife. Offred seems to analysis this woman as if she were a picture, singling out every aspect of her features and unfolding it in her head as she looks, scanning over Serena Joy as she does everything. Each part of her face is examined, but especially her eyebrows, `Her eyebrows were plucked into thing arched lines, which gave her a permanent look of surprise, or outrage, or inquisitiveness, such as you might see on a startled child, but below her eyelids were tired looking' I find this passage has an interesting meaning, for example, Offred is extremely uncertain about the way she decides something so insignificant such as the permanent look on her face was surprised etc. This suggests that Offreds mind is working as if it were a thesaurus or computer, finding the right word is of great importance.

Return to