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Heros In Gilgamesh By David Ferry And Offred The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood.

961 words - 4 pages

What is a hero? In mythology and legend, a hero, is often of godly ancestry, who is gifted with great courage and strength, distinguished for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Or, a hero can be a person noted for feats of courage, mainly one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Finally, a hero can simply be the main character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. There are many different types of heroes. This paper will focus on two, Gilgamesh from Gilgamesh by David Ferry and Offred from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. At first glance, Gilgamesh is the embodiment of a bad ruler. He is all knowing, prideful, tyrannical, and cruel. For example, it is stated, "Gilgamesh, the strongest one of all, the perfect, the terror (4)." The people of Uruk criticize of his domination to the gods and the gods react by constructing Enkidu to counterbalance Gilgamesh. Although the two are aiming on killing each other they quickly become friends. Each finds true friendship in the other. Gilgamesh then advises that their adventures could gain them fame among the people of Uruk and also, this could help to restore the spirit of Enkidu, who has been diluted and baffled by civilization. Together they do great things and achieve many feats. In contrast, Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer permitted to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant since Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable."I pray silently...I don't know what it means but it sounds right (90)." Offred can remember the days before, when she lived happily with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. Offred states, "I once had a garden. I can remember the smell ofthe turned earth, the plump shapes of bulbs held in the hands, fullness, the dry rustle of the seeds through the fingers (12)." But all of that is gone now.The Commander's wife becomes jealous of the relationship he and Offred have. She finally figures out a way to get Offred sent away and be put to death. She finds acocktail dress that was a gift from the Commander to Offred, she knows her husband is to blame but indicts Offred anyway. Offred is sent away to her death but ironically, the van is driven by rebels who carry...

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