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Literary Works Often Show Men and Women Struggling to Resolve Problems and Not Succeeding Very Well?

Autor:   •  October 26, 2015  •  Essay  •  416 Words (2 Pages)  •  703 Views

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Throughout the novel, Offred struggles to maintain her own identity. It is one of the most important aspects that the novel portrays along with the subtopics that emerge from it. To begin with, the novel’s title is necessary for our understanding of this theme. It is called The Handmaid’s Tale and not A Handmaid’s Tale. This makes it clear how we are only focusing on an individual in a society where individuality is slowly being lost in a dystopian world. Whoever the Handmaid is, she must be seen as the individual she is; someone who is important in her own right.

Her name is one of the main factors that explores the theme of identity and Offred’s struggle to maintain it. As suggested with ‘My name isn't Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it's forbidden.', we see how she does not see herself as Of-Fred. This is only the name that was given to her by Gilead. It is an imposed name that makes her a man’s property and she did not choose any of those conditions. That identity has nothing to do with her as an individual, as there have been Offreds before. Her struggle is later depicted by “I tell myself it doesn't matter... but what I tell myself is wrong, it does matter.” Our narrator needs two things; to be loved and to be recognised. In chapter 17 she mentions “I want to be held and told my name” and finally, when she is able to tell Nick her name, she feels real; she feels that a relationship has begun as shown with “I feel that therefore I am known”.

In chapter 29, the Commander is laughing because of women’s poor ability with mathematics. ‘For them,' he says, ‘one and one and one and one don't make four.' Later, in the following chapter, this claim becomes symbolic for Offred, as she is able to convey her posture towards the importance of identity in the world of Gilead. ‘One and one and one and one doesn't equal four. Each one remains

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