The Handmaids Tale is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood. We are reading the book through Offred’s perspective.
Atwood describes very well how the society is put together and what her daily struggles consist of.
In this extract (p. 254-259) Ofglen and Offred are on their daily route in the dystopian society they live in.
Offred talks about her and Ofglen being trapped in a maze, ‘’A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.’’
Atwood uses small sentences stopped by either a comma or a period, ‘’I could scream, I could run away, I could turn from her silently, to show her I won't tolerate this kind of talk in my presence.
Subversion, sedition, blasphemy, heresy, all rolled into one’’ Whenever she does this it makes the setting intense and gets the reader's attention very well, ‘’I could run away, I could turn from her silently, to show her I won't tolerate this kind of talk in my presence’’ Will she actually runaway? The reader will ask questions on what's going to happen and eventually, it feels like we are there besides Offred.
The setting is in Gilead, a dystopian society ran by men. We see a dole and depressing environment through Offred's perspective.
You can see it when she describes the Library and the Wall. ‘’There are the red bricks, there are the searchlights, there's the barbed wire, there are the hooks’’, ‘’I try to imagine which building he's in.
I can remember where the buildings are, inside the Wall; we used to be able to walk freely there, when it was a university.
‘’ It used to be a university, but now they use the walls to hang dead people and frighten others. It explains very well how the Gilead society has affected the society.