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

Explore the way in which Margaret Atwood presents Moira 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Refer closely to any literary and linguistic approaches where necessary.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the way in which Margaret Atwood presents Moira 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Refer closely to any literary and linguistic approaches where necessary. Within 'The Handmaid's Tale' Atwood presents us with many characters that are emotionally weak; Janine, Offred and even the Commander residing in the higher echelons of society all possess a deprivation of spirit brought about by the oppressive and restrictive nature of the Gileadean regime. In contrast to this we are presented with Moira and through her Atwood is able to create tension, conflict and a rebelliousness that is otherwise only seen in the recollections of Offred's mother. Moira acts as a representative for independence and liberty in the novel, she defies her oppressors and is seen by Offred as a role model that she finds impossible to aspire to. Moira constantly battles the status quo; she parades her lesbianism and manages on two occasions to defeat the system at the disgrace of the much-hated Aunts. She is confidant in both manner and speech. '"Don't move said Moira or I'll stick it all the way in"' The boldness of this imperative paired with the violent connotations attached to the verb 'stick' gives Moira the sinister tone she needs to intimidate Aunt Elizabeth. ...read more.

Middle

Moira is incredibly blas� throughout the novel; her nonchalance shows even in her response to working at Jezebel's which will lead to an impending death in the Colonies. '"You'd have three or four good years before your snatch wears out and they send you to the bone-yard."' The vulgarity of the expletive 'snatch' corresponding with the verb 'wears' describes the female body in a manufactured way, dispensable for male pleasure and just as easily disposed of. It is this taboo language that Atwood uses to familiarize us with Moira. Her reference to the Colonies as 'the bone-yard' is further evidence of Moira's ability to perceive things in a brutally realistic way. The fact that she is graphically aware of the inevitable doom she faces and does not react over- sentimentally show Moira's unwavering courage. When Offred reflect on her student life in 'the time before' we see that Moira's attitude to sex was then just as relaxed and liberal as it is under the Gileadean rule '"I'm giving an under-whore party...Tart's stuff, lace crotches, snap garters. Bras that push your tits up"' Here the three-part list indicates the casual attitude that Moira has towards sex, she is comfortable with her sexuality and her taboo language reflects this. ...read more.

Conclusion

the chance in Moira, the woman who, in times of need, Offred looked to as a source of hope has now become just like her, instead of embodying defiance Moira now embodies Gilead's ability to crush even the strongest of spirits. 'I don't want to be like her as far as something I lack. Give in, go along, save her skin...I want swash-buckling heroism from her, single handed combat. Something I lack.' This three-part syndetic list describes Offred who has romanticised and projected on to Moira the qualities she wished she possessed and is here, along with the reader, sorely mistaken. 'I don't know how she ended...because I never saw her again' What has happened to Moira is an anticlimax; we do not expect to be left unknowing, the novel now seems closer to real life than fiction and this brings the starkness of Offred's reality to the reader's attention. Moira's spiritual demise and erasure is an elaboration of the full force of oppression Margaret Atwood presents us with, once a courageous, outspoken woman has become a despondent pessimist with no hope of escaping Gilead. It is this change in Moira that makes us realise the true awfulness of the situation so many women in the novel are in. 1 Victoria Neale, 13LST ...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 ...

    Offred even discards the more animal terminology 'copulation,' because the word implies the involvement of two people. Anything sexual is outlawed so people become 'hungry' for sex and for someone to love them. When a Handmaid gives birth all of the Handmaids in the district plus all of the wives

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

    However Offred then goes on to say "I revise that: within limits" All sense of freedom is lost when Offred says this, as it shows that she never had any freedom. Offred's imprisonment is also shown through the types of nouns Atwood uses.

  1. Compare and contrast "The Wars" and "The Handmaid's Tale".

    some of the soldiers in "The Wars" felt for the war and the destruction it caused. After being rained on with shells, having a close brush with death, "a bright young man with popping eyes turned to Robert and gushed at him: 'Isn't it marvellous!'

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

    "The importance of being Ernest" is a play and is the story of Jack, and through his friend Algernon meets the beautiful Miss Fairfax and he falls in love with her. The extract I have chosen is the scene when Jack is trying to win Gwendolyn's heart, which results in the objection of her Mother, Lady Bracknell.

  1. Early in the novel Atwood presents us with the division between ladies and women

    In pages 83-92 we see the opinion of women through Dr Jordan's eyes he firstly describes them as "weak-spined and jelly like by nature" which could be seen as an overall view taken by men. Dr Jordan then scientifically proves this idea wrong when making reference to his dissection and finding that "their spines were on the average no feebler".

  2. What specific aspects of society do you think Atwood comments on in The Handmaid's ...

    The deep red cloaks, the blue embroidered dresses, and the pinstripe garments are all uniforms to define a person's role in society. In particular, the handmaid's cloaks also say a lot more about their position. The fact that they are like a nun's gown, and are also called 'habits', signifies chastity and dedication to God.

  1. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood, 'Discuss the Gileadean concept of "Freedom from, freedom ...

    The ideal of 'freedom from' adopted by Gilead is so extreme that when reading the novel, its dictatorial and tyrannical approach seems absurd and irrational. However, it is apparent that a retreat back to traditional values is what may have been necessary in order to pacify a society of debauchery and immorality.

  2. Conformity in Margaret Atwood's Novel: The Handmaid's Tale

    Offred is a clear example of a non-conformist; she desires her old life and she frequently acts out in small rebellious ways in order to demonstrate to the government that she is not their pawn and that they do not control her.

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