Dec. 5 Class Notes

Upcoming Assignments-

  • Essay 2 is due Thusday, Dec 14 before 2:30PM, worth 30% of grade. Upload on dropbox, paper copy not needed. Must have a satisfactory cover letter one page long that is a reflection on writing process, NOT SUMMARY. Papers with unsatisfactory cover letter will not be graded. TIP: Keep a log of what you are doing while writing the essay; will be easier to write the cover letter. See Assignment page for more info. If you want comments on the graded essay, email the professor. OPTIONAL: Email professor to schedule a meeting, bring two copies of a 4 page draft, must have an intro paragraph. Students attending a meeting will have essay grade bumped up a letter grade. First come, first served.
  • Final Course Reflection, worth 10% of the grade. Due Tuesday December 19. Finish Essay 2 before working on this. Submit on dropbox. See Assignment page for more info.
  • Extra Credit Opportunity: Scifi Symposium Blog Post. See Post for more info.
  • No new HW for Thursday except reading the Assignments.


Topics of Discussion: Historical Notes; Ending of the story; The Salvaging (Ofglen and May Day); Commander/Offred Relationship, Offred/Nick Relationship; Serena Joy finds evidence of Commander’s adultery; Moira/Jezebel’s

Continued Discussion of Historical Notes:

Many of the academics attending the Symposium dismissed the value of the Handmaid’s Tale, questioning its authenticity. On Pg. 300, Professor Pieixoto says the talk is about determining the authenticity of the Handmaid’s Tale. The Professor is only interested in information about Gilead, does not care for the plight of the Handmaiden in the recordings. He wishes instead for historically substantial information from the Commander’s private computer to better describe the Gilead Empire.

Discussion of Ending:

Feelings on the ending: Cliffhanger; Resignation; Abrupt

Offred considers suicide, regrets how she didn’t act out a plan of escape or rebellion (Pg. 293). Apprehensive of Nick when he asks Offred to trust him, despite of saying “Mayday”, the codeword of the resistance. Offred decides to trust him, because that is all she has left. “But I snatch at it, this offer. It’s all I’m left with” (294).

Last paragraph is left to interpretation, Offred has no way of knowing if her capture is a good thing or a bad thing. “Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can’t be helped. And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light” (295).

Discussion will continue on Thursday, take note of the scene(s) in Jezebel.

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