As mentioned multiple times, Offred is a master of imagery. It seems like half of her mind is perpetually occupied on noticing things that are seemingly irrelevant, but which fascinateher all the same just because she has so little to latch onto in her thoughts. A perfect example of this occurs when she flashes back to the night she attempted to escape the newly formed Gilead with her husband, Luke, and her then-young daughter. She narrates it thus:It’s a Saturday morning in September, I’m wearing my shining name. The little girl who is now dead sits in the back seat, with her two best dolls, her stuffed rabbit, mangy with age and love. I know all the details. They are sentimental details but I can’t help that. I can’t think about the rabbit too much though, I can’t start to cry, here in the Chinese rug… I wore my hiking boots, she had on her sneakers. The laces of the sneakers had a design of hearts on them, red, purple, pink and yellow. It was warm for that time of year, the leaves were turning already, some of them; Luke drove, I sat beside him, the sun shone, the sky was blue, the houses as we passed them looked comforting and ordinary, each house as it was left behind vanishing into past time, crumbling in an instant as if it had never been, because I would never see it again, or so I thought then. (108-109).
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood22This style of description flows all throughout the novel, coloring each and every chapter with feeling that is both whimsical and sad. VI. ToneAtwood’s tone of voice towards her novel is one almost of reproach. Being a strong feminist, Atwood would most certainly revile the government of Gilead. The events that transpirein the novel would disgust her if they happened in real life. Background knowledge of Atwood makes this clear. Her blunt word choices also help display her feelings on the topic. She presents the story in a raw, no-holds-barred sort of way, with language that boldly shocks and metaphors that are just as suggestive as they are elegant. Atwood is not afraid to paint the story exactly as they would be, sparing the reader no gruesome detail. She describes, at the women’s Salvaging, how a man is thrown to a crowd of angry women to be torn apart as punishment for a crime. Offred does not participate in his murder, but she witnesses it.A woman comes towards us, walking as if she’s feeling her way with her feet, in the dark:Janine. There’s a smear of blood across her cheek, and more of it on the white of her headdress. She’s smiling, a bright diminutive smile. Her eyes have come loose. “Hi there,” she says. “How are you doing?” She’s holding something, tightly, in her right hand. It’s a clump of blonde hair. She gives a small giggle. (360-361)On top of this brutal word choice, Atwood also expresses a sentiment of revulsion for the character of Offred herself. She shows this in the way Offred thinks of herself. Offred acknowledges that she, too, is a sinner with base instincts and thoughts. Through this Atwood illustrates the point that all people are flawed and there is never necessarily a good guy or a bad
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood23guy. Directly after the scene with Janine, Offred says- “Easy out, is what I think. I don’t even feel