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

Comparison between Soul Scrolls (pg 175) and Offreds prayer (pg 205) in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Comparison between Soul Scrolls (pg 175) and Offred?s prayer (pg 205) Gilead?s totalitarianism regime uses religion to meet the ends of the regime, rather than the regime being a means to serve God. ?Soul Scrolls? is a place where Handmaid?s purchase one of five prayers to be read to them, before being recycled. Offred?s prayer is a distortion of the Lord?s Prayer which is ostensibly much more personal to her. Offred describes ?Soul Scrolls? as ?a franchise?. This suggests the presence of business and technology in Gilead, reinforced by the idea that the Handmaid?s accounts are debited and that the regime is everywhere. This concept of business is continuous throughout the novel, for example the ?ceremony? previously discussed is portrayed to be a business transaction. ?Franchise? has connotations of something which is unavoidable. Everybody knows it and everybody has access to it, and it?s the same everywhere you go ? it?s incredibly impersonal. Gilead uses ?Soul Scrolls? as a means of controlling the Handmaids. There is no flexibility because there is no choice in prayer ? there are only five prayers to choose from, which seems quite artificial. In only offering five exact choices ? ?health, wealth, a death, a birth, a sin?, it prevents people praying for anything else. Despite the fact that the Handmaid?s can mentally think of other prayers, they can never articulate this because their freedom of speech is subverted to the state of Gilead. ...read more.


Offred describes it as having ?roll upon roll? of prayers, which shows Gilead believes in quantity not quality, further emphasising the concept of business and money. Gilead?s regime is described as indestructible. ?The window of ?Soul scrolls? is shatterproof?, which suggests that for the regime to have protected the franchise, they must have feared there would be dissenters. It suggests that not everybody in Gilead accepts it but they don?t dare to express this because of the consequences. There is reference to the spies in ?Soul Scrolls?, ?each machine has an eye painted in gold on the side?, which shows their superiority and that the Handmaids? are always being watched ? there is no escape and this is yet another means of controlling them. Offred tries ?to remember? what the place sold before and realises it was a lingerie shop. This takes away the feminist aspect of women because Gilead attempts to strip women of any wants and thoughts, to make them only want to bear children. If a lingerie shop existed in Gilead?s society as it were then, it would be considered corrupt, which is ironic because Gilead itself is a mire of corruption. The concept of a patriarchal society is reinforced in that ?most of the stores carrying things for men are still open?. Offred?s parody of the Lord?s Prayer, which takes place by an empty garden (similar to how Jesus prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane), articulates Offred?s feelings of abandonment and despair. ...read more.


On the other hand, Offred commits to ?Soul Scrolls? because she has too since it?s a sign of faithfulness to Gilead?s regime, and if she didn?t, it would seem suspicious, even if she doesn?t believe in doing it. However, both do criticise Gilead, with ?Soul Scrolls? expressing the pointlessness of it, and her own personal prayer expressing how Gilead is a h**l. In her own personal prayer, Offred has hope for two way communications, and although his name is not known, God does offer some kind of contemplation for Offred, as she works her way through her feelings. ?Soul scrolls? is simply a one way communication because prayers are printed and read to the Handmaids? before being recycled, which shows the uniformity of this prayer. Offred?s own prayer is also in a sense a rebellion from the constraints of Gilead, because although this isn?t her aim, it does go against what Gilead teaches ? that she should not be thinking for herself. When Offred visits ?Soul Scrolls?, she is complying with the ways of Gilead simply to stay out of trouble. In conclusion, Offred?s personal prayer is much more personal than ?Soul Scrolls?, and despite it being a distorted version of the Lord?s prayer, it does signify her desperation for salvation from the regime. ?Soul Scrolls? is something Offred simply goes along with because she has no choice but too, and this offers her no answers to her thoughts because of how autonomous and controlled it is. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Handmaid's Tale 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 AS and A Level The Handmaid's Tale essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare how a sense of claustrophobia is built up in the Handmaids Tale and ...

    4 star(s)

    Under the Gileadaen regime the Handmaids never went out unaccompanied, this partnership system provided both chaperones and spies. Offred considers the image of both women dressed identically in red, thinking of them as doubles, both visually and in circumstances. "The truth is that she is my spy, as I am hers."

  2. Presentation and significance of settings in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    Although on the surface everything is now under the regime in Gilead Offred's memories signify the past is not totally forgotten. In this chapter Offred's memories resemble our world and the new street in Gilead is the dystopian world. Atwood successfully contrasts these two images conveying the dystopian world in Gilead.

  1. 'There is more than one type of freedom, freedom to and freedom from...' How ...

    Offred survives the ordeal by distancing herself from it and detatching her emotions, stating 'one detatches oneself, one describes'. The way in which she refers to the intercourse as 'the ceremony', 'the process' and 'f*****g' suggests that she is trying to alienate herself from the experience and she states that

  2. Examine how Atwood presents Offred's sense of self in "The Handmaid's Tale"

    lost, "This name has an aura around it, like an amulet, some charm that's survived from an unimaginably distant past."10 The words, "aura", "amulet" and, "charm" create a semantic field of mystery and magic which reflects Offred's feelings towards her name; now that she is not allowed to use it,

  1. Explain how control and rebellion are presented in 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood

    Nevertheless, Offred is still being psychologically controlled, as unlike people who are completely rebelling, she doesn't turn her head to engage in or pursue the conversation by creating eye contact.

  2. Feminism in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    The women have condemned themselves to this fate. In the novel opponents to feminism are represented by the Commander's Wife and the Aunts. They show that they are more than willing to collaborate with Gilead's regime to re - educate women back into traditional gender roles.

  1. The Handmaid's Tale - commentary on an extract "The Ceremony goes as usual."

    The narrator does not only dehumanise the intercourse and her future child but also herself.

  2. By close examination of the themes and narrative technique, show how Margaret Atwood conveys ...

    The narrative technique which Atwood adopts is one of a non linear fashion. As a reader, we are subjected to follow the temporal leaps of Offred?s mind, where we are forced to go where her thoughts take her. As a reader, I don?t feel like Offred is composing her story

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