Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Post #6: Historical Context

Historical Context:
In Nazi Germany (1933-1945), when prisoners were put into concentration camps, they were forced to wear a striped uniform. Each uniform had a number for identification and a colored triangle, which gave the reason for their imprisonment. According to The Holocaust Explained:
          Criminals were marked with a green triangle, political prisoners with red, homosexuals with pink, whilst Jehovah's Witnesses wore a purple triangle and asocials (including Roma) wore a  black triangle. In some camps, Jews were usually marked by a yellow triangle to form the Star of David. However, in others a yellow star identified them as being Jewish.

This color identification closely connects with Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

" their red shoes...The red gloves are lying on the bed...Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which defines us. The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breasts, the sleeves are full. The white wings too are prescribed issue..." (Atwood 8).

"At the bottom of the stairs there's a hat-and-umbrella stand...There are several umbrellas in it: black, for the Commander, blue, for the Commander's Wife, and the one assigned to me, which is red" (Atwood 9).

"She's in her usual Martha's dress, which is dull green...The dress is much like mine in shape, long and concealing..." (Atwood 9).

In The Handmaid's Tale, the characters dress specifically to their role in the society of Gilead. The Commanders dress in all black, the Commanders' Wives in blue, the Handmaids in red, and the Marthas in green. 
This close connection to what happened to prisoners in Nazi Germany would suggest that Atwood looked closely at, and included, past historical events to enhance her dystopian novel. Atwood used what happened in the past to hint at what could happen in the future if changes aren't made. It seems like her way of warning the reader about the consequences of history repeating itself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Post #5: The Handmaid's Tale

Part 1:
     Lately I've felt conflicted. I've been thinking about Moira a lot. I think about how she escaped. I wonder if she's still alive. I imagine her outside of Gilead, living a normal life again. But this is only a story.
     This story I tell myself, could it possibly be true? Or was she captured and sent to the Colonies? Even worse, was she killed? She must be alive, I haven't seen anyone who resembled her by the Wall, and the other Handmaid's are keeping an eye out for her.
     Recently I've been contemplating whether or not I should follow Moira's actions. I could try to escape this dysfunctional, oppressive world of Gilead. I could find Luke and my daughter, and we could live a normal life again. On the other hand, I could be caught and sent to the Colonies with the Unwomen. I could also be killed.
     These are the consequences that I have to considered. I want my life back, but what can I do in this protective world?

Part 2:
I chose to write from Offred's perspective, because in the book she seems to be very conflicted about a lot of things. She outwardly states some of her conflicts, but it can be inferred that she also is inwardly conflicted. I decided to write about Offred wondering if she should try to escape like Moira did, because Offred doesn't know what happened to Moira. She may have escaped Gilead, or she may of been captured. The reader knows that Offred doesn't agree with what is happening in Gilead and that she wants to find her family again. The only way for her to possibly to that would be to escape.