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

What is the importance of the Japanese tourists in chapter five of 'The Handmaids Tale'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the importance of the Japanese tourists in chapter five of 'The Handmaids Tale'? The Japanese tourists presented in chapter five may only cover a page and a half in the novel, however, this passage should not be underestimated as the tourists importantly act as a subtle representation of everything that the Handmaids have been stripped of, most importantly their freedom. The way in which the author introduces the reader to the tourists is notably intriguing: 'A group of people is coming towards us. They're tourists,..' To begin the paragraph with this line provides a fundamental theme of 'us and them,' in the sense that these tourists are completely alien to the Handmaid's as they are indoctrinated into conforming to this distopian, regimented way of living. Extensive use of description emphasises the scrutiny in the conduct of observation made towards both parties, it is easy to make the connection between the Japanese and a pack of animals hunting together, desperate for a photographic souvenir of the bizarre surroundings and its inhabitants held captive in this disconcerting and systematic society. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the exuding sexuality from the female tourists is also commented on from the way their bodies are positioned; 'their backs arch at the waist, thrusting the buttocks out' and the seductive power that is unleashed from their red lipstick to their hair which is 'exposed in all its darkness and sexuality'. The author wants to illustrate the fact that it is all too easy for a woman to take the simple things that embrace our femininity for granted and this is what the Handmaid's have been forced to sacrifice. Consequently the Handmaid's have forgotten what it is like as a woman to be free and to be sexually liberated. The Handmaid's continue to express their fascination, though this is also combined with repulsion until they remember that was once them: 'Then I used to think:I used to dress like that. That was freedom.' This is what the Handmaid's have been deprived of and that is why they are resistant to accept that what they are witnessing was once in fact reality and nothing unordinary. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a tone of melancholy that is instigated when the Handmaid's senses are reawakened when she is presented with a nostalgic reminder of the smell of nail polish. The short sentence 'I can feel her shoes, on my own feet' poignantly highlights the Handmaid's yearning for the satisfaction that owning a pair of beautiful shoes once brought. The Japanese tourists are free, they are able to leave Gilead and this is what the Handmaid's resent more than anything, they are not even granted the right to speak their mind or truthfully for that matter, as they are obligated to give the answer that is suitable rather than honest: ' "Yes, we are very happy," I murmur. I have to say something. What else can I say?" It becomes obvious to the reader that these are women who have no choice other than to correspond to the society's legislation consequently, the tourists importantly highlight the contrast between freedom and the loss of it which is ultimately the Handmaids fate. ...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. Chapter 10 - Textual Analysis.

    Does this suggest that she feels privileged by the summer dresses that are issued to them, that they, the handmaids had even been considered when the dresses had been chosen? Having read the opening nine chapters the reader has been able to form some sort of understanding of Offred and

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

    and goes on to tell Offred that her husband is her husband and that she wants to see her as little as possible this shows just how awkward it would be to attempt a friendship with the wives. It is also clear that the Marthas do not like the handmaids

  1. What analysis of the female role does Margaret Atwood offer in ' The Handmaid's ...

    'Not all of you will make it through. Some of you will fall on dry grounds or thorns. Some of you are shallow-rooted.' These words emphasize the pressure on handmaids to succeed in conceiving and quietly conforming to the dictatorial regime. However, a more sinister side to the Aunts is evident in the 'cattle prods slung on thongs from their leather belts.'

  2. The Handmaid tale essay

    to visit clubs like Jezebel proves that he has no respect for females and the laws that he enforced on the males and females of Gilead doesn't apply to him because he thinks' of himself as a superior being, over the guardians and angels.In fact, they would not want to deal with elements of relationships such as love and emotions.

  1. The Handmaid's Tale

    This is shown during the birthing procedure scene, where Offred states; "...we see the writing...This hasn't been blacked out even though we aren't supposed to be reading - p129...we chant as we have been taught - p133". Offred's first person recount style of events provides an important but limited view of the personality traits of all the handmaids.

  2. 19th Century short stories - womens rights

    Throughout the story Tanya is also seen as an "idol", this makes Tanya seem as a symbol to the men. This is the opposite of "The Yellow Wallpaper" where the narrator is treated as a child. The word "idol" makes Tanya seem like an artificial creation, the repetition of the word shows how unreal this representation of Tanya is.

  1. The Gothic Elements in the HandMaid's Tale.

    In The Handmaid's Tale there are two such 'castles'. They are not physically castles, but they are major buildings. One is an old Victorian house and the other, the Red Centre. The first 'castle' - the Red Centre - is the place where all the fertile women are sent to be trained as handmaids.

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

    the Commander, her status is shown by her privilege of arriving at the front door rather than the back, and also the escort salutes her as he leaves, showing she has some importance. Gwendolyn has the greatest control in the conversation with Jack because she has a very strong personality

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