The Importance Of Freedom In The Handmaid's Tale

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Albert Camus once said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” In this quotation, Camus brings about an important interpretation of how the way of surviving in a world without freedom is to rebel. Once you are completely free your existence is considered an act of rebellion. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, freedom is taken away from both men and women but mostly women. The novel reveals that lack of freedom leads to rebellion and breaking rules as shown through the symbol of the match, the use of flashbacks, and the characterization of men. The narrator, Offred, breaks a rule when she keeps a match, something she is not allowed to have. For example, when Serena gave her permission to get a match for her cigarette, instead of lighting the match she thought, “I could keep the match. I can make a small hole, in the mattress, slide it carefully in” (Atwood 209). The fact that she even has a match in the first place goes to show that she was breaking the rules.…show more content…
For example, when the Commander requests to see her, the narrator says, “My presence here is illegal. It’s forbidden for us to be alone with the Commanders... So why does he want to see me, at night, alone” (At wood 136). The Commander told Offred to see him at night which is forbidden. Even though he is a Commander he still does not have any freedom which leads to him breaking the rules as well. Another example is when Offred and Serena are talking and Serena says, “He’s been with us a long time. He’s loyal. I could fix it with him” (Atwood 205). In this quote, she’s talking about Nick and how he runs her “black market” errands. This shows that Nick also broke the rules because he did not have any freedom. In the novel, characterization of men proves the lack of freedom leads to the breaking of
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