19 thoughts on “Class Discussion #10: People’s Choice Posts for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ Parts IX-X

  1. Profile photo of GemannaGemanna

    In Stevens’ blog post on this week’s assigned reading of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Stevens ponders on a great point regarding Offred and the Commander: they were both prisoners. Sure, the Commander obviously had more leisure and luxury that came with his position of strictly working and impregnating the Handmaids assigned to them, but they both had tasks enforced on them that allowed no room for human emotion, connection, or even sympathy. Through the Commanders actions, we see human intimacy in the simplest form: the Commander allowing her to read unforbidden literature, play vocabulary enriching games like Scrabble…These acts of random kindness are unexplained, but we see how it gives the Commander a sense of entertainment as he himself is a prisoner to the system of Gilead, just on a higher rank than a Handmaid.
    “The commander, in his own way is actually seeing the handmaid’s as actual human beings with emotion. In this empire, woman are constantly pushed and forced to do things without their own opinions or feelings being accounted for. The commander seems to be the main person (as of now anyway) to actually go out of his way and endanger punishment to give his current handmaids some respite in their gray and dreary lives. The commander, just like Offred, seem to be a slave to the system and can’t exactly leave or act outside of their own roles without swift and harsh punishment from their totalitarian leaders. Sure, he may be given more power to act on than the other handmaid’s do but, he is also a prisoner in his own right”, (Stevens, Lower Paragraph).
    Stevens’ Blog:
     
    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/a-sad-story-indeed-but-there-does-seem-to-be-hope/

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  2. Profile photo of DanielDaniel

     

     

    I like Kina’s analysis. Even the selfish Commander has lost many things under Gileadean rule…ironic!
    “I found it interesting that his “weakness” was a part of what make us human…. was the same thing  that Offred wanted; he wanted human contact. He wanted human contact that was not dictated to him [spontanity]  I had not realized that in this world the men loses a lot too. It is funny how this new world have taken away freedoms from both men and women. I think that he miss having a female friend to talk to. He wanted a woman’s company other than for procreation reasons.”

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  3. Profile photo of Taisha RiveraTaisha Rivera

    For this weeks choice, I have chosen Christian’s post. I enjoyed the new thought of Offred wanting power. He states, “Offred is hungry, not the hungry for food but lustful for power. Power is freedom and she craves it ever so much. I am sure anyone would crave power when they are pitted into a future with a low ceiling. It is either you serve your purpose or you are deemed worthless and sent out the colonies which to many equals death. Forbidden Desires is how I see it, all of Offred’s desires are forbidden, yet she is not wrong at all for wanting more.”  He described his thoughts on Offred well, and since I’ve never really thought of it this way, (Offred wanting to be more than the role she’s in), it all fits in perfectly.            https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/forbidden-desires/

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  4. Profile photo of KinaKina

    I like what  Sharie had written when she wrote this

    “Offred’s expectations about The Commander, in comparison to her pass experiences with other commanders, when she is summoned she will expect she is called for some “kinky” request, something foul from the other man. Instead he asks her to play “Scrabble”. “As if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.” (Chapter 25 PG. 155 PP 4) She isn’t being used the way she was intended to be used. Is The Commander just using her as entertainment instead? Maybe, but he isn’t treating her as some tool like the other maids or even the wife. She’s being treated as a human, a companion to simply pass the time with”

    I, too agree that the Commander is treating Offred like a human being. I  never had thought of the Commander using Offred as his entertainment, but if he is, then this even humanizes him more. For, he is bored of the new laws of the land as Offred even though he has more freedom than her.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/compassion-in-the-stranges-of-places/

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  5. Profile photo of KinaKina

    I like what  Sharie had written when she wrote this

    “Offred’s expectations about The Commander, in comparison to her pass experiences with other commanders, when she is summoned she will expect she is called for some “kinky” request, something foul from the other man. Instead he asks her to play “Scrabble”. “As if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.” (Chapter 25 PG. 155 PP 4) She isn’t being used the way she was intended to be used. Is The Commander just using her as entertainment instead? Maybe, but he isn’t treating her as some tool like the other maids or even the wife. She’s being treated as a human, a companion to simply pass the time with”

    I, too agree that the Commander is treating Offred like a human being. I  never had thought of the Commander using Offred as his entertainment, but if he is, then this even humanizes him more. For, he is bored of the new laws of the land as Offred even though he has more freedom than her.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/compassion-in-the-stranges-of-places/

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  6. Profile photo of CristianCristian

    For this week I enjoyed Kina’s blog and therefore she has my vote for the post of the week. I liked how she caught on the fact that men in this society are also vulnerable to loose something. This week we saw how the commander in a way wanted some of the same things Offred wanted, human touch all of which were discussed in Kina’s blog. She discussed how she was surprised to see how men in this new society have needs that were not previously mentioned or even thought about. Kina’s blog I found to be the most interesting caught my attention because I too was suprised to see the commander come down to the level of Offred. I, as I am sure many others, can not wait to see where the relationship between Offred and the Commander goes from here on out.

     

     

    blog: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/wait-what/  

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  7. Profile photo of Terry_LTerry_L

    I like the blog post from Gemanna, she goes a little deeper into the relationship between the commander and Offred and explain how the situation was. I strongly agree with her opinion which was the sick society of Gilead that brings them closer, both of them might be taking a lot of pains from their identities and unjust treatments. Especially the screenshot from the Handmaid’s Tale Hulu series, this really makes feel the close relationship between them and understand more about the story.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/a-rat-in-a-maze/

     

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  8. Profile photo of Jordan JPJordan JP

    I vote for Kina’s post, Wait…What? I found it to be quite similar to my interpretation of parts IX and X, especially the way she explores the connections or similarities in terms of emotional and physical needs of the commander and Offred. Most of the other posts I’ve read only focus on the abuse being inflicted onto the women in the novel, they suffer the most, but they are not the only one’s. The fact that Kina’s post acknowledges some of the men’s issues in this part of the novel instead of ignoring them, is one of the reasons Kina’s post stands out to me. 
    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/wait-what/

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  9. Profile photo of SamuelSamuel

    I vote for Crsoto’s post. The post describes about Offred hungry to fulfill her desires. It mentions how the commander also has forbidden items in his room, and he starting get closer to Offred instead his wife. The idea that Offred enjoy having more power to Serena is quite amusing, but I can see this small conflict with Serena will have some plot related as well. The idea Offred is not wrong for having power is reasonable because given her situation in Gilead.

     
    Forbidden Desires

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  10. Profile photo of Stevens JeanStevens Jean

    Going to pick Gemena’s. The second part got me thinking about Offred’s and Ofglens relationship. They both speak and act in in a rigid and somewhat stifling manner to escape from punishment from the watchful eyes but, as they spend more and more time together on errands, their relationships grew and in term, their conversations have grown more daring. Their relationship is at the point where they can feel comfortable enough to talk to each other about anything which, i kind of find somewhat interesting. Offred doesn’t have many close friends and Ofglen seems to be the one person who we see have a growing relationship with Offred throughout the book .

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  11. Profile photo of blanca borquezblanca borquez

    I enjoyed Kina’s blog for the reason that she went into the commander in a way that I simply dismissed. “I think that he miss having a female friend to talk to. He wanted a woman’s company other than for procreation reasons. ” .  

    Men have also lost liberty but not as much as women though. Maybe he just feels lonely. Things between him and his wife arent the same and we can all sense it. Even if they love eachother, friends are needed.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/wait-what/

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