This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Character Analysis Of The Handmaid's Tale

1134 words - 5 pages

Character Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale

Moira
=====

We first meet Moira "breezing into" (P65) Offred's room at college.
She is the breath of fresh air. As Offred says, "She always made me
laugh" (P66). One of her roles is to bring humour to the reader, to
lighten the situation and contrast with the horror of the Gileadean
regime. An example of this is when Moira changes the hymn "There is a
Balm in Gilead" to "There is a Bomb in Gilead" (P230). Margaret Atwood
uses imagery to illustrate the role of Moira's humour in giving hope
to the handmaidens. She describes Moira as a "giggle; she was the lava
beneath the crust of daily life" for the handmaidens in the Red Centre
(P143). I think in this metaphor Margaret Atwood is describing the
effect of Moira's bubbly personality, always rising from under the
surface of the hard Gileadean regime.

Moira's rebellious and nonconformist nature is evident from Margaret
Atwood's first physical descriptions of her. Before the regime took
over, Moira had one "gold finger nail she wore to be eccentric" (P47).
I think Margaret Atwood uses Moira as the rebellious character
fighting against the regime. Her role is to stand out from the other
female characters. She is in contrast with the reaction to the
Gileadean regime of Offred, who endures the system in order to
survive, and Janine who is totally broken. Moira is the only female
character in the book to maintain her original name. This makes her
distinct from the other women in the book and is another example of
her individuality. Another role of Moira's rebellious nature is to
give hope to Offred and help her to survive. Following Moira's escape
from the Red Centre, Offred feels that "In the light of Moira, the
Aunts were less fearsome and more absurd" (P143). Margaret Atwood
describes her after her escape as being to the other handmaidens "like
an elevator with open sides" (P143). In this simile I believe she is
showing that Moira is able to take risks. She doesn't need the
security that the others need, she is frightening to them, as she
doesn't have the same fears.

Another example of Moira's character that shows her nonconformist
nature, is in that she made a political decision to become a lesbian.
She didn't realise that she was gay, "she'd decided to prefer women"
(P180). I think the role of Moira's sexuality is to contrast the
choice she had made before the regime took over, with the Gileadean
laws which prevent women from having any choice of partner or any
decision in the process of finding a partner, as "The marriages are of
course arranged" (P231).

Moira not only decided to become a lesbian, but also decided to be
sterilised many years before the regime took over. It is her
determination to survive which is displayed when she is sent to the
Red...

Find Another Essay On Character Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale

A Nation of Indoctrination: "The Handmaid's Tale"

1852 words - 7 pages Handmaid's Tale as one logical outcome of what she termed the 'strict theocracy' of the 'fundamentalist government' of the United States' Puritan founding fathers” (Margaret Atwood, Feminism, and "The Handmaid's Tale"). The irony of the Gilead’s regime lies in the fact that they claim to be based on biblical and godly principles, but their core beliefs and actions seem to prove otherwise. Despite taking ownership to the Christian faith, there is

Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale Essay

625 words - 3 pages Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale is distinguished by its various narrative and structural divisions. It contains four different levels of narrative time: the pre-Revolution past, the time of the Revolution itself, the Gileadean period, and the post-Gileadean period (LeBihan 100). In addition, the novel is divided into two frames, both with a first person narrative. Offred's narrative makes up the first frame, while the

The Handmaid's Tale

940 words - 4 pages The Handmaid's Tale Serena Joy is the most powerful female presence in the hierarchy of Gileadean women; she is the central character in the dystopian novel, signifying the foundation for the Gileadean regime. Atwood uses Serena Joy as a symbol for the present dystopian society, justifying why the society of Gilead arose and how its oppression had infiltrated the lives of unsuspecting people. Atwood individualises the character of Serena

What Analysis of the Female Role Does Atwood Offer in "The Handmaid's Tale?"

2754 words - 11 pages The Handmaid's Tale is set in the early twentieth century in the futuristic Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States of America. The Republic has been founded by a Christian response to declining birthrates. The government rules using biblical teachings that have been distorted to justify the inhumane practices. In Gilead, women are categorized by their age, marital status and fertility. Men are categorised by their age. Women all have

The Importance of the Narrator of The Handmaid's Tale

1055 words - 4 pages The Importance of the Narrator of The Handmaid's Tale         The creation of Offred, the passive narrator of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, was intentional.  The personality of the narrator in this novel is almost as important as the task bestowed upon her.  Atwood chooses an average women, appreciative of past times, who lacks imagination and fervor, to contrast the typical

Portents of the Monotheocracy in The Handmaid's Tale

2507 words - 10 pages Portents of the Monotheocracy in The Handmaid's Tale        American society has had certain cultural and political forces which have proliferated over the past few decades-described as the return to traditional Christian values. Television commercials promoting family values followed by endorsements from specific denominations are on the rise. As the public has become more aware of a shift in the cultural and political climate through

Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale

1701 words - 7 pages characters in the novel are portrayed in such a way that they directly conflict with the idea of women's empowerment.   On the surface, The Handmaid's Tale appears to be feminist in nature. The point-of-view character and narrator is a woman and thus we see the world through a woman's eyes. There's much more to the story than that, though. Atwood doesn't show us our world. She shows us a newly created world in which women lack the freedoms

Group Analysis of the Imagery, Symbolism, Figurative Language, Ironic Devices and more for "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

2709 words - 11 pages breaking down of a strong character like Moira is a vital part in understanding any dystopian novel. Throughout The Handmaid's Tale we see Offred idolize the strength, wit and individuality of her friend Moira. Though she has made many attempts at escaping this oppressing world, she is eventually grinded down. This goes to show that there is little hope in such societies.- "We're without emotion...without feeling, we might be bundles of red cloth. We

The Handmaid's Tale Response Piece

928 words - 4 pages The novel the Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, chillingly explores the consequences of a reversal of women’s rights. It made me very aware and somewhat paranoid about what could happen if a rogue government took control and took all women's rights away. The novel is set in a speculative future, exploring gender inequalities in an absolute patriarchy in which women are breeders, housekeepers, mistresses, or housewives. It is written in such a

Power in The Handmaid's Tale

1712 words - 7 pages Power in The Handmaid's Tale As you read through the handmaid’s tale you see the relationships of the characters develop and the fight for power, however small that glimpse of power may be. The images of power can be seen through out the novel, but there are major parts that stand out to the reader from the aunt’s in the training centre to the secret meetings between the Commander and Offred. The first we see of the struggles of power

Representation of Colors in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1784 words - 7 pages Representation of Colors in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Imagine if you can, living in a world that tells you what you are to wear, where to live, as well as your position and value to society. In Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale, she shows us the Republic of Gilead does just that. Offred, the main character, is a Handmaid, whose usefulness is her ovaries. Handmaids are ordered to live in a house with a Commander, his

Similar Essays

The Handmaid's Tale Moira Character Change

1080 words - 4 pages BERNARD'S STORY TO MAKE IT SEEM CLEAR COMPARISON)In the final analysis, the novel The Handmaid's Tale probes on the idea that a tyrannical government is able to destroy the most rebellious of personalities by transforming Moira's strong personality into a weak and hopeless one. The significance of the novel in general is that even though its characters are fictitious, they somewhat come to life. It is heartbreaking to think that thousands of people have lived through the same miserable conditions as Moira. VERY SOLID ESSAY. YOU DO SEE WELL AND ORGANIZATION IS PRETTY GOOD TOO. GOOD EFFORT.

The Hope And Hopelessness Of Moira: "The Handmaid's Tale" By Margaret Atwood: Argumentative Essay: Moira As A Symbolic Character Of Hope To The Main Character

768 words - 3 pages Independence is what teenagers strive for while going through adolescence. Once achieved, this right of passage is one of the most difficult to surrender. Such strong defiance and independence is shown in Margaret Atwood's, "The Handmaid's Tale", through the minor character of Moira. This character is referred to throughout the novel as strong-willed and independent until Offred finds her near the end, different and broken. Through Moira, Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale: Plot Analysis

1923 words - 8 pages The Handmaid's Tale is written by Margaret Atwood and was originally published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985. The novel is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of a new totalitarian theocratic state society that is terrifying and horrific. Its main concentration is on the subjugation of women in Gilead, and it also explores the plethora of means by which the state and agencies gain control and domination

Critical Analysis Of 'the Handmaid's Tale' By Margaret Atwood

1052 words - 5 pages The creation of Offred, the passive narrator of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, was intentional. The personality of the narrator in this novel is almost as important as the task bestowed upon her. Atwood chooses an average women, appreciative of past times, who lacks imagination and fervor, to contrast the typical feminist, represented in this novel by her mother and her best friend, Moira. Atwood is writing for a specific audience