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

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaids Tale Analysis on: Chapter XIV Salvaging

Extracts from this document...


Laure Pigeon Gr.11 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaids Tale Analysis on: Chapter XIV Salvaging Margaret Atwood's creation of the dystopian society of Gilead in The Handmaids Tale, is definitely one in which the Government attempts to control every aspect of people's public and private lives. As the plot progresses, Offred - the protagonist and narrator of the novel - dissects how, through numerous methods, this power is exerted on the society. Dystopias are societies where ideology has taken priority over the well-being of the people within that society, and as these dramatic changes implemented by Gilead are non-beneficial for the vast majority of the characters, many of them inevitably rebel. Atwood's formation of Gilead serves as a warning to what could take place in the near future. On the other hand with Atwood's ability to make Offred's character evolve through out the story, the reader is able to witness a very different kind of resistance against the tyrannical regime of Gilead that can be called love. Through out the chapter XIV Salvaging, a new relationship is established and many links between the men that Offred had in her life can be made, which will develop to become predominant thoughts for her survival. ...read more.


The Commander dismisses Offred's suggestion that the regime has forgotten to provide for love, but he does so without a true understanding of love's power. The regime considers love unimportant, but it is clearly love that ultimately holds the power to destroy the regime. Ironically, it is also a form of love that puts Offred in tremendous danger. When Serena Joy finds the costume Offred wore to Jezebel's, she feels that Offred has betrayed her, despite her understanding of Offred's situation. Earlier in the novel, Offred thinks about how Moira criticized her earlier affair with Luke, even though she wound up marrying him, and wonders what Moira would have thought of her affair with the Commander. Once again, Atwood seems to be pointing to similarities between the world of Gilead and the ordinary world. Did Offred owe anything to Luke's previous wife? Does she owe any kind of allegiance to Serena Joy? Another important theme that reasserts itself in this section of the novel is the power of language. Here, Offred directly addresses the fact that she is "constructing" her story: " I wish this story were different...I wish it were about love, or about sudden realizations important to ones life, or even about sunsets, birds, rainstorms, or snow. ...read more.


In order to reveal Offred's desires more clearly to the reader, Atwood provides us with a scene that sharply contrasts with the intimations of love. One of the worst deaths the novel has to offer is Ofglen's death, because the reader does not have the possibility to realise that she has disappeared: she is replaced by another woman with the same name, and essentially the same appearance. There is no hole standing where she once was. Ofglen is an example of what happens to the woman whose story has not been told. Though she was braver than Offred, and possibly more deserving of our interest, she ceases to exist as soon as she is dead. We do not know her name, so it is as if she did not exist. This chapter is very strong as it is the key to understanding why Offred is telling her story. By opening up to Nick she has found the thrive to silently resist Gilead's regime, using the most powerful weapon: love. But we also understand her need and agonising remorse for telling her story. She has to believe that the end will come so she will be spared and live on. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Commentary on The Rest Margaret Atwood

    No matter how much they try ultimately only the woman herself can feel the magnitude of pain she is going through. The audience is genuinely trying to help the woman but their efforts are useless. This is evident in the following; 'We would like to call something Out to her.

  2. An Analysis of John Updike's "Pigeon Feathers"

    This new perspective gives him a apathetic perspective on life. He even stops reading, so he can avoid the thought of death. One can see David's obsession with death when describes his books: "In mystery novels people died like dolls being discarded; in science fiction enormities of space and time conspired to crush the humans".

  1. Discuss the three main characters, Jimmy, Crake and Oryx, found in the novel Oryx ...

    Jimmy suffers similar to any average person today will suffer from a dysfunctional family. There are no exaggerations. Even when Jimmy gets into a relation with his true love, Oryx, he continues having difficulty empathizing. Jimmy can't prevent himself from searching into Oryx's past although she refuses.

  2. Lord of the Flies Critical Analysis

    Here, Jack tries to defend his pride, claiming that he was just picking a spot. The knife also embodies the archetype and theme of the corrupt innocence. The knife, once used for the purpose of gaining food for the society, ends up being used for the murder of those who opposes Jack's way of life.

  1. Comparitive commentary on an extract from Oryx and Carkeby Maragaret Atwood and Time Capsule ...

    but only to Snowman's mind. In this the reader is limited to the thoughts of only one character. This gives us idea that Magaret Atwood might have used third person limited narrative in order to make the reader focus only on Snowman's thoughts.

  2. Creative Ending to Handmaids Tale

    I should have asked more of the Commander, then I may not have been in this predicament, maybe I could have held my daughter in my arms right now. Then again, she may not even remember me or not want to meet me.

  1. Female Rebellion in Handmaid's Tale

    Moira is the only character who stands up against the restraints of the Gileadean regime which prohibits much of what her former life based on: Gay rights and freedom of speech. She has disposition to rebel against Gileadian system with her being an open lesbian and contribution to the activities in Gay Rights movement before the establishment of Gilead.

  2. Literary Analysis: Julius Caesar v. The Lord of the Flies

    be still; / I killed not thee with half so good a will." (Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act V, Sc. 5, 50-51) In short, Shakespeare once again more logically described a side effect of power, its ability to hold people together through trying times, more believably than the irrational and

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