The themes in Handmaid's Tale

Jasmine Okai
Mind Map by Jasmine Okai, updated more than 1 year ago
Jasmine Okai
Created by Jasmine Okai over 5 years ago


Mind Map on The themes in Handmaid's Tale, created by Jasmine Okai on 09/08/2014.

Resource summary

The themes in Handmaid's Tale
1 Religion
1.1 "nunneries"
1.1.1 "Time is measured in bells" Sense of conformity strict, no independence
1.1.2 "As in a nunnery too, there are few mirrors" to avoid vanity and individual expression Devices to
1.1.3 to which we derive nuns (female only) Holy, adds to sense of religion by comparing the two
1.2 Uniform
1.2.1 "White wings" Angel connotations Purity and innocence Holiness and light Messengers of God "keep us from seeing but also from being seen"
1.2.2 "the colour of blood which defines us" The blood of Christ spilt when he was crucified seen to "define us" because he died for our sins Communism no individualism- uniform is same so status is equal Passion/ Love/ Lust sinful past? died for our sins "A sister, dipped in blood" describes herself as this, reference to her sin with the Commander or fertility
2 The role of the Handmaids
2.1 Acts to fulfil tasks
2.1.1 Shopping
2.1.2 Deliveries Fairytale allusion
2.1.3 Maintaining household Offred's detailed description of the "Victorian" house and surroundings
3 Narrative techniques
3.1 Purely descriptive
3.1.1 "I get up out of the chair"
3.1.2 "The red gloves are lying on the bed"
3.1.3 stark language at the start, then becomes more complex (gaining confidence of reader?)
3.2 Idiolect
3.2.1 her stream of consciousness "-not MY room, I refuse to say MY-"
3.2.2 sounds professional "A sitting room in which I never sit"
3.2.3 Retaliation
4 Attwood's use of language
4.1 Use of colour
4.1.1 Red
4.1.2 White
4.2 Theme of freedom
4.2.1 use of italics highlight individual retaliation and freedom
4.2.2 "once a tree"
4.2.3 "distorted shadow"
4.2.4 "path through a forest"
4.2.5 "descending towards a moment of carelessness"
4.3 Theme of nobility and history
4.3.1 Used to emphasise need for freedom?
4.3.2 "carpet for royalty"
4.3.3 "turned into another century, rubbed to a warm gloss" idea of improvement and making things better Can be linked to idea of indoctrination Applied to Offred and all handmaid's She didn't even get to keep her name explaining need for her to exaggerate personal pronoun MY
5 The rules, routines and values of Gilead
5.1 Uniform
5.1.1 All women must wear one, men do not have to
5.1.2 Indicator of status
5.1.3 Must wear what is issued to you dependant on position you hold
5.2 "Shopping basket"
5.2.1 Indicator of status
5.2.2 Roles and jobs are normal
5.3 Strict conformity and control
5.3.1 "Time here is measured in bells"
5.4 Respect for the traditional
5.4.1 "Late Victorian, the house is"
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