1.1 "We slept... -At the Start of the
novel she establishes her self as
group collectively with the other
1.2 Doubling - the similarities between her
and other hand maids, society sees the as
the same personworth nothing but their
1.3 Relationship with Serena Joy. She agrees
with society in that her only purpose is to
reproduce so their relationship with Serena
is very basic. Offred hoped to see her as a
mother fiqure but this isnt possible with
Serenas attitude towards her. Cht 3
1.4 Rita thinks the have a choice to be
handmaids - pg 20 " The Martha's are
not suppose to fraternize with us..."
1.5 The commander treats Offred like
she is expandable, which in this
situation she is because she isnt
really a person. pg 147- "If your dog
dies, get another"
2 Internal and external
2.1 Historical notes -we see her through the
professors eyes, this is the only other view we get of her
that isn't completely biased and based on her views. They
question a lot of the narrative and debate whether she was
worth of any value when we don't know her name or
personalized details, they are not contended with knowing
2.2 Through the narrator
2.2.1 It's all in first person so it's
limited to just what she sees
and what she wants us to see.
2.2.2 She gives a very brief
description of herself and
almost none of other people,
so can we really trust it?
3.1 Reminiscing of the past life shows she
is still trying to survive, her flashbacks
show a internal strength.
3.2 Ask for the moisturizer
3.3 Laughs out loud (p.156) "Laughter boiling like
lava in my throat" she hasn't felt joy in a while
but she is now
3.4 Outward actions she is a everywoman, she is playing a part
that has been assigned to her by the state. She lowers her
head when they get to the wall, she turns her head away
from the tourists, she does not initially talk to Nick.
3.5 p73 looking, or not, looking at
4.1 What the character
says about themselves
4.1.1 Page 153 “I am 33 years old. I have brown hair…” Use of vague
reductive language, so she could be anyone. Later on in the
paragraph she recognises her ovaries as her defining factor.
4.1.2 Page 83 “I have failed once again to fulfil the expectation of
others, which have become my own.” She has internalized
their expectations. Putting as much pressure on herself as
4.2 Through what other
characters say about
4.2.1 Page 197 “You want my life to be bearable to me.” (Commander)
“I do. I would prefer it.” The Commander speaks to her like a real
person. He is the only person at this point who communicates
with her on an equal level, and this is shown through their
4.3 Use of language: what
do they typically use?
4.3.1 Page 31 “It’s an event, a small defiance of
rule…” The only way she feels she can maintain
control of her own life. She needs an act of
defiance to keep herself sane.
4.3.2 Page 94 “My name isn’t Offred…” She never uses her real name, she sees it as
something precious that shes needs to bury away from harm, and that one day
she will be able to dig it up again.
5.1.1 “I lie… out of my own time” p47 shows
that she uses her room for reflection
5.1.2 “Lilies used to be a movie
theatre, before” p35 always
describes the setting using the
5.2.1 “lettering… temptation for us”
p35 she is not allowed any
freedom not even intellectual
5.2.2 “Good weather holds” p53 she is
hopeful despite the scenario.