Language In Margaret Atwood's Thi Offred

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Offred has the opportunity to show her knowledge of the past when she is with the Commander. Shortly after arriving at his home, she finds out that the Commander wants her to come to his office. Offred’s fear of the unknown reason for this request is evident when she says, “I lie in bed, still trembling. You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter” (Atwood 103). This gives a sense of a paralyzing fear, a feeling of having her world come crashing down around her. She has absolutely no idea of what the Commander could want. She also knows that she will have to give him whatever he wants or take any punishment he sees fit.…show more content…
The life of a Handmaid is meant to be plain and uneventful other than the occasional birth. Offred is able to express her experiences in vivid detail through her use of language. She examines phrases and words when describing events in order to tell exactly what has happened in a situation. She has a connection to the past and this allows her to use language and make references to experiences that future generations in Gilead may not understand. This also makes her experience more difficult because she knows and has lived through a time in which she had freedom and was not kept around only for her body. Her ability to use more elaborate language to explain her experiences reveals truths about Gilead that others may not be able to express. Her vocabulary also demonstrates that she Offred is not going to be completely suppressed by Gilead. She does not give in and use simplistic subservient language, which is a sign of hope that she may be strong enough to stick to her knowledge of the past and recognize the faults within the system of Gilead unlike anyone else. Offred is an example of why an expanded vocabulary can be beneficial to explaining difficult situations and expressing
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