Handmaid’s tale: questions

Focused Class Discussion The Handmaid’s Tale Melina Taquis Theme & Motif 23-4-12 1) Can ’Sex exclusively for reproduction and not for pleasure’’ be considered one of the main themes of this novel? ‘’Sex exclusively for reproduction and not for pleasure’’ can be easily considered one of the main themes in this dystopian novel. Yet, it can be contradicted when the doctor makes sexual reference to our protagonist wanting to have sex with her so she could be pregnant and be a little bit ‘’pampered’’ by their society. Clearly the doctor, as any man, wanted to have sex with her so he could be pleased. It was a win-win situation, he would get sex and she would get pregnant. 2) How can ‘’blood’’ be considered an essential motif in this novel? When it comes to motifs, blood can be considered one of the main ones. In this society, bloody red is what every woman wears on her daily life. Blood is also essential for women. Not only because blood keeps them alive but also because blood is what women have when they have their period so that means that blood means productivity. Its like a machine with oil, a machine does not work without it neither do women when they want to get pregnant 3) To what extent are women viewed as machines in this society? In this dystopian novel women are depicted as elements that only have one exclusive function and that is to have babies. If women are infertile, they are not accepted and are depicted as unwomen. Just like machines, if the do not work, they are thrown away, and if they do then everything is all right. Women should only follow their routine everyday and follow rules in order for everything to be perfect. Just as machines, they follow a cycle in order to work properly. 4) Being emotionless is one of the main traits found in our main character; to what extent is she hiding her feelings? As a reader, we have the benefit to get into her mind and see her true feelings. Even though the dark tone of the novel does not depict much emotion we can see how women on the outside show meaningless expressions while on the inside they are having an emotional roller coaster with past experiences coming up and down in their heads showing how their personality really is and how hard it is to live un a society like that. 5) Getting pregnant is the main goal and opportunity that women in this society have. Why didn’t Offred accept the doctor’s offer and had sex with him? Being in Offred’s position is something extremely difficult for every woman. Not able to show her feelings, being strong and emotionless at all instant and doubting even their shadow is something extremely difficult for these women. Her main goal is, of course, to get pregnant but she did not do it because she did not know if it was a trap or not. Also if she gets caught in the middle of the sexual act terrible consequences will await her. It’s a terrible conflictive situation. If she doesn’t get pregnant she will be sent with the unwomen, but if she does and it’s a trap the doctor is setting her she will also pay a harsh price. She has no escape, its just a matter of intelligence and luck.