Resistance In The Handmaid's Tale

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Offred does not claim her story to be completely true, leaving a room for ambiguity and doubt. In a search for accuracy, she constantly changes her stories, twists and recreates them in a new way. For instance, thinking about her husband Luke, she imagines him being dead, imprisoned, and escaped and believe in “all three versions of Luke, at one and the same time”(121). Another example is her description of her encounter with Nick in several completely different ways and the further confession that “it didn’t happen that way either” (317). Offred admits her story is a reconstruction, because “it’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was” (158). Though a struggle to be as honest as possible, Offred gives readers different versions of the same event without making it clear what she …show more content…

At the same time, the Historical Notes reveal that other records of those who lived in Gilead also exist (346). Though Offred has never participated in a coordinated regime subversive activity, her story, along with those of other survivors, now form a polyphony of resistance. Storytelling in The Handmaid’s Tale performs various functions: it is Offred’s way of resistance, her survival strategy, her intellectual pastime, and a testimony to the future. By telling herself stories she escapes into memories, shape and change her experience, and substitute the lacking communication. She uses storytelling to preserve herself, to validate her existence, to prove her life matters. Moreover, for Offred, recording her stories is the only way to send a message to the world outside Gilead in hope that one day it will be delivered. She does not try to be accurate about the history and society of dystopian Gilead, yet she is precise in describing her feelings and emotions, knowing that she is not alone: there are other handmaids with similar stories and there are her believed

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