Character Analysis Of Offred In The Handmaid's Tale

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Register to read the introduction… Her attitude to the ceremony is, certainly not a respectful one, not the one that Gilead would have tried to instil in her, "...the Commander fucks, with a regular two-four marching stroke, on and on like a tap dripping...". These are hardly the sentiments of a true believer in the role of the Handmaid.

However, it is clear that the Red Centre did have some psychological effects on her by the way that she sees everything in a sexual light, she is obsessed by the colour red "...the colour of blood which defines us...". She even manages to turn the flowers in the garden into a metaphor for feminine sexuality,

"...The tulips along the border are redder than ever, opening, no longer winecups but chalices, thrusting themselves up, to what end? They are, after all, empty. When they are old they turn themselves inside out, then explode slowly, the petals thrown out like shards...", the Aunt's aphorisms also keep coming up in the narrative, and, even if she only remembers them to mock them, the important thing is that she does remember them, so Offred is not so invulnerable as she
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Her shocking, revealing story is brought home by a complex, and effective, narrative technique.

Works Cited and Consulted

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Anchor Books: New York, New York, 1985.

Conboy, Sheila C. "Scripted, Conscripted, and Circumscribed: Body Language in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale." Anxious Power: Reading, Writing, and Ambivalence in Narrative by Women. Eds. Carol J. Singley and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney. Albany : State U of New York P, 1993. 349-62

Fitting, Peter. "The Turn from Utopia in Recent Feminist Fiction." Feminism, Utopia, and Narrative. Eds. Libby Falk Jones and Sarah Webster Goodwin. Knoxville : U of Tennessee P, 1990. 141-158.

Garlick, Barbara. "The Handmaid's Tale: Narrative Voice and the Primacy of the Tale." Twentieth-Century Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in Twentieth-Century Mythopoeic Literature. Ed. Kath Filmer. New York : St. Martin's, 1992.

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