I had enough of these novels ending when it’s just getting good! I was hoping to find out where Offred was being taken too, details in what she said and who she said it too, and what would be done to her. The author left us with an absolutely cliffhanger!
But I have a question, in the historical notes tapes were mentioned, is the novel based on true events? Like was someone recording themselves tell the story, since that’s basically what was happening the the novel Offred was telling us a story.
back to the summary..
As I’m finishing the novel I start to think of how secretive the people of Gilead are. The whole system of things are in secret. Now, I always knew that no one is to really communicate but it didn’t hit me until after the salvaging and Offred is waiting for Ofglen and when she realizes that the handmaid that’s approaching her isn’t Ofglen and asks her if Ofglen has been transferred and the new handmaid responds with she is Ofglen. When I red it I was puzzled.Like what do you mean you are Ofglen. You’re clearly not, but then I read on to find out that they (whoever in charge of transporting and renaming handmaids) use the same names for replacing handmaids so you won’t be able to track them down (283). These people in charge don’t want any sort of real communication from these women, no friendships established, no connections made, no secrets being revealed, no plotting. Everything is so confidential, the law is literally stripping these women from their natural human rights. To have conversations they (by they I mean handmaids, marthas, etc) literally have to talk in code, like for example when Offred and the new Ofglen were walking and Offred mentioned may day , from the response the new Ofglen gave it was clear that she wasn’t “one of them” and was basically telling Offred to become submissive to the new rules of the new world they are living in. I know when Offred was told that Ofglen committed suicide it hit her straight to her core, especially how she found out; by Ofglen whispering it to her and walking off. I don’t know if I missed something but what is this van the new Ofglen mentioned? If it’s the same van that came for Offred at the end?
I really feel bad for Offred reading through the last parts of the novel. It’s clear that she’s still has flashbacks on her life with her husband and she misses him but she longs for love and I don’t think we will understand how she felt until we lose the same natural human desire, love and physical contact with the ones we love. So, because of this lack of desire she found it somewhere else, with Nick which is so risky it can cost her her chance of ever seeing her daughter and even worse, her life. But because she longs for that human affection she’s taking chances and it has to remain as ‘no strings attached’ but Offred would want what the have to be romantic but they don’t want to risk anything. (262) But if you turn back a couple of pages we see that the Commander takes Offred to a hotel to be romantic with each other but Offred isn’t feeling it at all. She doesn’t want any romance with him, she doesn’t even like him, she even closes his eyes when she kisses him. These two situations show that natural feelings can’t be forced and even if you’re longing for human contact if it’s not genuine it doesn’t matter. Offred states, “Fake it, I scream at myself inside my head. You must remember how. Let’s get this over with or you’ll be here all night.” (255)
Going back to my question about this novel being real experiences of someone, on the top of page 268 it’s like Offred is leaving these stories for someone specific to read, or hear. She states, “because after all I want you to hear it, as I will hear yours too if I ever get the chance, if i meet you of if you escape , in the future or in heaven or in prison or underground…I believe you’re there, I believe you into existence.”