Book Club: Week 3 “The Handmaid’s Tale”

July 15, 2017

I have to say this book just keeps getting better and better. I was hooked right from the start and now halfway through the book I am having a hard time putting it down! The only thing keeping me from finishing it is the fact that I have to find time to sleep!

Impressions: When I started the novel I was waiting for the obvious and with that anticipation came my imagination trying to figure out the circumstance for this character. When the shoe finally dropped I was so disturbed! It was way more eerie than I had ever imagine it to be in my mind and it drew me into this world even further. I am finding the use of Day and Night to tell the story to reflect the two versions of the character Offred that we see: Day being the oppressed and Night being the rebellious. I don’t think I quite distinguish this as a feminist novel at the moment as I find that it hasn’t explored both sides of the situation yet. The male roles appear to have more control but I believe that their roles are those of a sort of oppression too. I think it has the makings of a feminist piece but I need to read further to see. The symbolism of colour in particular is such a major part of this novel. The red that distinguishes Offred from the Commander’s Wife’s white is such an effective way of alluding to the roles that each of these women have in society and how those roles are represented. The Commander’s Wife wearing white symbolizes a purity which is a powerful element to explore in this novel. The further I read the more information I am indirectly receiving from Offred about what the other characters are thinking and feeling. I would like to have more insight on the situation but I’m thinking this will come with time!

Things to ponder:

– How do literature and language play a part in this novel?
– What does the character Moira symbolize?
– How does restriction affect all characters in the novel?
– How do characters symbolize something  larger than themselves? (Offred’s mother, Aunt Lydia, and Janine)

 

The next reading section will be until the end of Chapter 34. Happy reading!

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