Antonia Is To Blame In The Handmaid's Tale

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In this scene, we learn that Antonia’s mother is ill, she blames herself for how her life has turned out, and her deplorable home life has become “normal to her. The most obvious and prominent take-away a reader may receive from this scene is the illness of Antonia’s mother, Patrice. This is incredibly significant to the story, as it has shaped Antonia’s entire life, as well as the lives of her brothers. As Antonia arrives home, it is evident (through inference) that her mother is not present, since no one is monitoring the quarreling boys. From just this alone, the reader may think that she has just gone out to the store or some other place. However, later in the scene it is confirmed that their mother is indeed sick: His face reddened.…show more content…
This is evident by the way Antonia constantly blames herself for things around the house: “It was my fault the house was so bad. I should've cleaned up before leaving this morning. I should've done a load of laundry. I should've checked on mom” (9). It is obvious from this quote that Antonia believes unreservedly that the state of her home life (and therefore her brothers’) is her fault. She is thinking as a mother should, and taking responsibility for tasks that are not meant to be executed by her. This is detrimental to her mind, as she is so young, and should not be blaming herself for her somewhat poor…show more content…
Coffee” (8). The use of the word “automatically” helps the reader understand that Antonia has repeated this action so often that it has become routine. Also, towards the end of the scene, she collects money from her mother’s purse: “I removed Mom’s Visa card from her billfold and scrounged around in the bottom of her purse for bus fare”
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