Characterisation of Ofglen in The Handmaid's tale

hannah rashid
Mind Map by hannah rashid, updated more than 1 year ago
hannah rashid
Created by hannah rashid over 6 years ago


Mind Map on Characterisation of Ofglen in The Handmaid's tale, created by hannah rashid on 11/26/2014.

Resource summary

Characterisation of Ofglen in The Handmaid's tale
  1. Dialogue
    1. Through what they say about themself
      1. Ofglen lets Offred know that she is part of Mayday, the underground resistance, and that way the two manage to comunicate as themselves rather than the people they have been made to be (yet Ofglen never revels her real name.)
      2. What others say about them
        1. "This one is a little plumper than I am..." chp 2-emphasizes her similarity to this other Handmaid by referring to her as "this one,"
          1. Offred criticizing her as walking like a "trained pig."
            1. Offred realizes that deep down the two of them have no choice but to act the way they do: "I think of her as a woman for whom every act is done for show...But that is what I must look like to her, as well" Chp 6
              1. Offre describes them as “Siamese twins” through Offred maybe in reference to the fact that they are incredibly alike but also different
              2. Use of language
                1. During the beginning Ofglen and Offred keep conversation strictly to what is allowed and expect of them "Blessed be the fruit" "May the Lord be with you ".pg 26 -Shows Ofglen to be reserved and not one to stray from the rules (so far)
                  1. “It’s a beautiful May day,” Ofglen says. I feel rather than see her head turn towards me, waiting for a reply.” Page 53- a pivotal moment in the novel where Ofglen is trying to deduce whether or not Offred is part of the rebellion. It is clearly shown by Atwood that Offred is almost negligent that she could be getting a way out - She doesn’t understand the significance, yet, but reacts in a way conformed to the societal ideals of Gilead
                    1. “…and she gives a little nod. She hesitates, as if to say something more, but then she turns and walks away down the street.” Page 54- Again Offred is rather negligent. Atwood is showing there is a form of rebellion here by Ofglen but she remembers where they were and stops before she gets into trouble
                  2. Setting
                    1. “Ofglen pauses, as if hesitant about which way to go.” Page 40- Moment to comprehend, Could be saying that Ofglen is conflicted also, like Offred, she doesn’t know which path to take - She could be overcome by thoughts that she doesn’t realise where she is when they have finished walking - Maybe there is a reason for why she is hesitant – scared about taking a certain route?
                      1. “We stop, together as if on signal, and stand and look at the bodies. It doesn’t matter if we look:” Page 42 - Describes not only Ofglen but Offred as well - Ofglen is used to the customs and knows when to stop - It shows just how extreme Gilead uses the rebels to prove a point to those who think of disagreeing with the system - Put there as a warning to those who even think of straying from the truth
                      2. In relation to others
                        1. Offred has a distant relationship with her until she finds out that Ofglen is a member of the resistance.
                          1. Offred describes her first encounter with Ofglen (chapter 4) as meeting ‘a shape like mine, a nondescript woman in red carrying a basket'. So alike are they in outward form that Offred says she is ‘doubled' as she walks the street (chapter 5).
                            1. they address each other in the stock phrases permitted to the Handmaids, but by chapter 8 Ofglen becomes more adventurous, introducing the words ‘May Day' which, as we later discover, is the name of an underground resistance movement.
                              1. During the beginning Ofglen and Offred keep conversation strictly to what is allowed and expect of them "Blessed be the fruit" "May the Lord open."
                                1. “Ofglen and I are comfortable with one another now, we’re used to each other. Siamese twins. We don’t bother much with the formalities any more when we greet each other; we smile and move off, in tandem, travelling smoothly along our daily track.” Page 174- They have grown accustomed to each other and although they don’t communicate they agree that they are comfortable with the friendshipThe routine has become mundane now, there is a sense of boredom from the routine which they are doing
                                2. Internal and external representation
                                  1. Through the narrator
                                    1. We only see Ofglen in her context as a Handmaid, in her interactions with the narrator.
                                    2. Another woman is sent to replace her, assuming her name and erasing her existence
                                      1. We dont know anything about her previous life only her life as a handmaid
                                      2. Action
                                        1. Ofglen has killed herself before she could betray others under torture- I feel thankful to her. She has died that I may live. I will mourn later.'
                                          1. During the Particicution - when the women are expected to kill a convicted rapist - Ofglen risks all by quickly knocking him out, to give him a painless death, when she recognises that he is infact "one of ours."
                                          2. Physical Appearence
                                            1. “A shape, red with white wings around the face, a shape like mine, a nondescript woman in red carrying a basket,” Page 28 - Puts her into the same category as Offred - There is no difference between any of the the Handmaids, represented through same clothes. They are part of a group - Like nuns with their habits -
                                              1. “This one is a little plumper than I am. Her eyes are brown. Her name is Ofglen, and that’s about all I know about her.” Page 29 Offred compares her to heslfe
                                              2. Symbolism
                                                1. Red- symbol of fertility, childbirth "The colour of blood which defines us".All handmaids wear the same as they all carry out they same function which is their only function
                                                  1. Mirror- Offred describes Ofglen as "She’s like my own reflection, in a mirror from which I am moving away.” pg 54/41
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