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Illustrate the Significance of the 'Night' sections in the 'Handmaid's Tale'

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By Louise Fell Illustrate the Significance of the 'Night' sections in the 'Handmaid's Tale' The chapters in the Handmaids Tale are named after an event or a time that is relevant to Offreds situation as the story progresses. The sections called 'Night' are very important chapters in the novel because this signifies the time when Offred is alone and silent remembering her vivid memories of her past. It is only at night that Offred chooses to remember her past because she is by herself, quiet and in her own personal territory. She feels that this is the only time she is totally cut off from the oppressive society and regime that she is living in. As a day ends and Offreds bedroom door closes, it is then that her mind wanders her sea of memories and feels at one with herself. Offreds mind holds precious memories of her past life and former self. They also give the reader information about her family background, her relationship with Luke and escaping over the border to get away from the rapidly changing society. ...read more.


This also conveys to the reader that Offred may be slightly nostalgic about her past, but stops herself remembering too much. It is only at night that we learn of Offreds affair with a married man named Luke and their daughter who is only and always referred to as 'Her'. Offred explains that she does this because she prefers to think that her child is dead and that it is less painful for her to remember her this way. The 'Night' sections tell Offreds tale up until she becomes a handmaid, so as well as the continuing story, whenever a 'Night' section appears in the novel, 'Offreds' tale is told. We also learn about Offreds beginnings in the Red Centre and her best and much loved fearless friend Moira. We learn about Offreds peers and how Moira tries to escape and undermine the society they are stuck in. she succeeds. By Offred remembering Moira's tale at night, it comforts Offred with a message of hope that she may yet find her 'escape' and find Luke again. The 'Night' chapters are significant for bringing hope to Offred by remembering stories of escape and her husband and that it may be possible to escape. ...read more.


The 'Night' chapters occur regularly throughout the chapter. This is suggestive of the regularity of Offreds daily regime and gives the reader a strong sense of routine that the handmaids endure each day. The night chapters also symbolize the routine of Gilead's whole society and ruling- the ceremonies, the salvagings, the daily walks and prayvaganzas. Their routine is strict and the same. The 'Night' sections are significant throughout the 'Handmaids tale'. They bring hope and sadness to Offred, sometimes at the same time. Her memories help her to stay strong and deal with her current situation whilst informing the reader of important characters that were dearly loved by Offred in her past. The 'Night' chapters tell Offreds tale and not the collective and generalized 'Handmaids tale'. This helps to make the story more personal and real to the reader by almost hearing straight from Offreds mind what she is feeling and how she has felt in her past. This is significant also to the reader because expression of personal feelings and even speaking is now so restricted in Offreds current society. Not only do the 'night' sections help us understand Offreds ordeals but they are essential to make the story flow smoothly because speech is not frequently used. ...read more.

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