Essay-style Questions: The Handmaid's Tale
1. Discuss the presentation of Offred in The Handmaid's Tale.
Keep this brief: it is a way to move on to your main points, and so should
Try to introduce a starting point from where you can begin your discussion.
|Offred is the narrator of The Handmaid's Tale, and it
is through her eyes that the reader sees what happens to her.
Her story is told in a stream of conscious style, with memories and thoughts
Her voice is educated and sometimes funny, but she is a fallible narrator,
|Try to link between points,
as this will add weight to your views and your arguments.
|The historical notes at the end accentuate this fallibility
as the authenticity of her story is questioned.
She also tells her story in the present tense, which is impossible because
Her memories seem almost hyper real in their descriptiveness and observations.
Her mental state is described through the fractured form of the narrative.
Her actions and inactions in the days leading up to the revolution make
Try and go out on a high. Don't just repeat what you have written
|Offred holds Moira up to be a symbol of female empowerment
and hope; this is broken when they meet again at Jezebel's. Her potential
saviour is not Moira, but Nick. This suggests that men hold her future in
their hands, despite her desire for this not to be the case.