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

Discuss the presentation and importance of Moira and the narrator's mother in the novel 'The Handmaid's Tale'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Beth Jackson Discuss the presentation and importance of Moira and the narrator's mother in the novel 'The Handmaid's Tale' In the novel ' The Handmaid's Tale' Margaret Atwood uses both the characters of Moira and the Handmaid's mother to give a real insight of the Gilead regime, women's roles in society and how these roles have changed over the years. Atwood uses these characters to present two extremes of the feminist view. The character of Moira is strongly individual and represents the ideal of friendship in the novel. Throughout the novel Moira is referred to both in nostalgic memories of the handmaid, but also as a main character who challenges the regime .She is portrayed in the handmaids memories as a rebel even before the Gilead regime began 'in her purple overalls, one dangly earring, the gold fingernail that she wore to be eccentric. She could be classed a modern women experimenting with her sexuality and campaigning for issues through her education papers on 'Date Rape'. Atwood uses the character of Moira to comment on a particular type of young feminists that were active in the 80's. ...read more.

Middle

The last view that Atwood lets us see of Moira working in Jezebel's brothel. This is where the reader is presented with the idea that in fact even the brightest and boldest characters can be worn down and the sheer irony of Moira's final occupation 'I'd like her to end with something daring and spectacular, some outrage, something that would befit her. But as far as I know that didn't happen'. Moira is one of the spirited feminist heroines, like Offred's mother Another major female character portrayed in the novel is Offred's mother. Atwood uses this character to symbolise and different type of feminism than the extreme feminism of Moira. Offreds mother symbolises the ideas of the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, campaigning for women's sexual and social freedom. Atwood presents her as a strong willed but lonely character that is set in her ways as a political activist. The character doesn't really appear in the present of the narrative only in the flash backs of Offred her daughter. Only much later does Offred learn that she has been condemned as an Unwoman and sent to the Colonies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not that your father wasn't a nice guy and all, but he wasn't up to fatherhood. Not that I expected it of him. Just do the job, then you can bugger off, 1 said, I make a decent salary, I can afford day-care. So he went to the coast and sent Christmas cards. He had beautiful blue eyes though.' Atwood presents the character as an embarrassing but heroic figure. She is used by Atwood to display how easily ideas can be turned and changed 'Mother, I think. Wherever you may be. Can you hear me? You wanted a women's culture. Well, now there is one. It isn't what you meant, but it exists. Be thankful for small mercies'. Offred and the reader learn to admire Offreds mother's courage and to value her memory as a vital link with Offreds own lost identity. Atwood uses both the characters of Moira and the Handmaid's mother to highlight the actions of two individual women's whose very different private assertions become almost symbolic in the novel. Both characters show the importance of female roles such as mother, daughter and friend and how these roles effect the outcome of the narrator's life. ...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 Margaret Atwood 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 Margaret Atwood essays

  1. The Handmaid's Tale - What are the main methods of control in the Gileadean ...

    who play cards and are unlikely to be called in except for a full emergency, in this field women reign supreme. Handmaids are forbidden to talk to each other except for set phrases that they have. They must greet each other by saying 'blessed be the fruit,' and the accepted

  2. Explore the issues concerning women and feminism raised in The Handmaids Tale

    which screamed out sexuality, Offred remembers this because when she walks away from the guard at his post she purposely sways her hips knowing that the guards are staring after her in a sexual sense. However now the status of women in Gilead is defined by their ability to reproduce,

  1. In What Ways Does Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four, and Atwood's The Handmaids Tale explore ...

    Oppression is also hinted at when Atwood uses flashbacks as a way of making the reader aware of the kind of life Offred and the others led before the regime. This is shown when Moira talks about "Date Rape". This hints women were not safe "in the time before" as they were being taken advantage of and oppressed.

  2. What roles do you think Moira plays in the handmaid's tale?

    second attempt she succeeds and as a result of this Moira never actually becomes a proper handmaid.

  1. Explore the way in which Margaret Atwood presents Moira 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Refer closely ...

    aunts; Moira had shown that they could be defeated and so easily too, through Moira's actions the Aunts' power was diminished. Having belittled the enemy she is seen to have great power, Offred refers to her as 'a loose woman' a clich� connoting sexual freedom but cleverly a second implication of the characters unbridled power now that she is free.

  2. "The Handmaids Tale" By Margaret Atwood, "The importance of being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde ...

    Commanders Wife loses some of her control over Offred especially when she begins to see the Commander behind her back making her the character with the power over Serena Joy and also the Commander as well as she is a sort of mistress and could tell Serena about her husband

  1. In 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood and 'The Remains of the Day' by ...

    This use of setting in both novels is important as it gives 'Stevens' and 'Offred' noticeably pressuring conditions in which their relationships must triumph, blossom and most importantly evade. "TROTD" tells the story of an elderly English butler named Stevens as he confronts disillusionment through a recalled life spent in

  2. Handmaid's Tale - the character of Offred.

    Offred frequently finds herself seeking support and knowledge in people who share the same beliefs and opinions as her, most significantly from Ofglen and Moira. This portrays the doubts about her world that she holds: another human quality. From Ofglen, she realizes that she is not alone in thinking that

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