• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Active reading notes

Extracts from this document...


The handmaid's tale by Margret Atwood Section 8 (294-339) Themes for this Section * Power- Many people of Gilead manipulate power to get what they want. Many characters in the novel find a way to control others with what they have, Offred uses sexuality as her power, even though she has fear of controlling this tool, she try's to imagine what men ( angels) think of her appearance when she sways her body, Offred uses her sexuality with the Commander to get out information. Offred has power but she is afraid of using it, she knows that her power is to an extend because if she gets caught, the commander will never protect her from the wrath of Serena Joy. On the other hand the Commander uses his power to meet handmaids behind Serena Joy's back; he also has power when he takes Offred to Jezebel. Offred learns that to maintain power over their bodies and decisions some handmaids commit suicide and Offred too has thoughts of killing herself. * Sexuality- Gilead's society is revolved around controlling sex and human nature, Gilead has strict rules that enable everyone to be isolated and forced to follow Gilead's regime. In Gilead males and females are executed if they are gay, pornography and sexual clothing are destroyed and they attempt to normalize weird sexual relations that they believe are in the bible. ...read more.


It reveals a lot about Margaret Atwood's views about social status, the role of women and her feminist perspectives. The quote sounds poetic as it uses alliteration (the words different, drier and defined) to emphasize the importance of the message being communicated to the readers. The reference to "different flowers" existing "today" is used to show the different social status that each group has and also the relative power and freedom each group has. Atwood also labels these new breed of flowers as "drier" which helps to emphasize the fact that the new generation of society no longer feel the need to rebel against society as they consider the situation as normal because they do not have an understanding of what life used to be like before. Atwood uses this to disapprove humans for not learning from past events. The flowers are also labeled as "more defined" which can be perceived as being the many different types of restrictions imposed on each social class and that even those limited freedoms that may enjoy are strictly controlled by those in power in this society. * Offred learns that her mother who showed different sort of feminism throughout the novel is now in the colonies "I think of my mother, sweeping up deadly toxins; the way they used to use up old women, in Russia, sweeping up dirt. Only this dirt will kill her." (pg. ...read more.


(pg. 314) Moira who has given up on herself has now made Offred give up on hope. Offred knows that if someone rebellious like Moira couldn't escape from Gilead then there is no way she can. This is sad and the reader learns that no one can escape from the wrath of Gilead. * Atwood contrast's Offred's sexual encounter with the Commander at Jezebel versus the encounter with Nick. This passage showed the difference between forced sex and desired sex or love. Offred knows that the commander is somewhat responsible for separating her from her family because the commander is powerful and part of the government of Gilead. The commander wants sex from Offred but Offred can't give him passion and desire that she feels towards Nick. The two themes that contrast one another are, power and love. The commander has power and he gets sex from Offred and Offred has love for Nick and therefore they have sex. In the society of Gilead where love isn't suppose to exists, does, when Offred feels that she has fallen in love with Nick. Through Offred's perspective we see that nothing can govern love and sex can't be regulated by law. "Neither of us says the word love, not once. It would be tempting fate; it would be romance, bad luck." (pg. 337) this shows that even if they wanted to love each other their relationship is inevitable and Gilead is more powerful then their one night stands. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. The handmaid's tale section 3

    * During the ceremony's now, Offred and the Commander feel awkward because they have to act like they don't know each other; the Commander also states that his wife doesn't understand him anymore, which kind of gives Offred a weakness of Serena's joys relationship.

  2. Free essay

    The handmaid tale

    * This was very sympathetic, because in a way Janine was striped away from her motherhood, she didn't even get mother-child contact; Janine was treated like a disposable machine, which is good for making babies.

  1. The boundaries between culture and nature have collapsed and the body has become flexible

    Yet still the 'body beautiful' message haunts... what of the body I now have? Exploring the body as a site of inscriptions 'The body must be regarded as a site of social, political, cultural and geographical inscriptions, production or constitution.

  2. Using explorative strategies to help understand the 'Coca-Cola Advert' lyrics and Picasso's Guernica.

    By twisting our trunks and arms and linking certain points of contact, we created interesting physical shapes, and extended the reference to a reptilian, demonic side to the coca cola company. In addition, we used boldly stylised movement, repetitive and violent, to show a rotten core beneath the veneer of the conventional lyrics.

  1. attitude to reading

    This was very challenging , tasking but also very interesting because at the end of the school term prizes were given to students who read quite a good number of books and this was checked through the issue desk at the library.

  2. How far does the reader sympathise with Sherman McCoy?

    between characters: they are not all the walking, breathing piles of pure sin they appear to be.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work