Journal 1, Option 1
Erica Joan Dymond, author of “Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale” (2003), asserts that the theme of the oyster/pearl relationship is the most prevalent them in the book and leads the plot. Dymond uses a plethora of concrete details and quotes from the text, using them to analyze the meaning of this oyster/pearl theme and relationship. Erica Dymond’s purpose is to explicate the prevalence and significance of this theme in the novel in order to show its importance to readers of the book who may have overlooked this crucial aspect. Dymond aims this criticism towards those who have read The Handmaid’s Tale and have not recognized the significance of the oyster and the pearl. Her ...view middle of the document...
On the other hand, all of the non-fertile women are forced into strict domestic roles to keep all of the female population subservient. To ensure this subservience, only males make political decisions and they are enforced militarily. Getting people to follow these rules requires a strong religious bond, so training centers like Rachel and Leah Re-Education center become common and necessary (44). Social planners of Gilead find this system a sensible reaction to danger of extinction, but to modern people and the futuristic society of 2175, it is perverse and cruel, and has more to do with men’s corruptness than the greater good. The gender roles in the book are extremes of the normal roles. This brings up the question of whether they come from natural origins or if men try to increase the power of oppressive regimes once they become less useful to society. Due to the corruptness of the men in Gilead, who break the very rules that they created, it seems that they just tend towards trying to control women for their own benefit.
Journal 3, Option 2
Through the novel's structure, different manners of intimidating citizens are introduced. There are minimal personal possessions, cruel forms of physical control, armed guards, public executions, and countless other ways of controlling the population through fear. The change in the way she is treated happens slowly. Offred is trained to be a good housemaid, and behaves the way she’s taught in spite of the hopelessness she feels, but in describing Janine's housemaid tactic, she seems sickened thinking about how highly the Commander’s wives think of her (146-147). Her life, from an outside perspective, shows that she sees her own behavior as being necessary to survive, but seeing Janine’s pride in her pregnancy so repulses her from agreeing with the government’s ideals that she doesn’t appreciate Janine. The book has no distinct response to Moira’s fate. She has the toughest will and says that she is content to work at the brothel, but this comfortableness opposes her previous morals (160). It also fills her role given to her by the government. It brings a question to if she really is cognizant of her thoughts, or if her trauma has blinded her.
Journal 4, Option 2
For such a miserable existence and governmental policy, no character is depicted as malevolent or definitely at fault. Aunt Lydia’s reasoning for her actions seem to be...