Red Control

The book The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has got me lost from the beginning. It is like I know what is going on but not exactly. I can honestly say that curiosity has kept me reading this far and actually enjoying it. During my read of parts I and II, I came across a couple points that I found interesting and felt like I wanted to talk more about them.

What is going on and why are these ladies being treated like this? Is this why things are so controlled? “Army cots that had been set up in rows with spaces between so we could not talk.”(4). First of all my question is why. Why can’t these ladies talk among themselves. But besides that point these ladies named, Alma, Janine, Dolores, Moira, June, and our narrator Offred have learned to read lips and whisper to a point where no sound was made. “They’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to.”(7). Back to my question, why would these women want to kill themselves? Are things bad enough that they just want an end to it? is that what it is?

Throughout part II I realized that these red handmaids or whatever they are called, they are not looked as if they were doing something good. They dress up in some way that makes me, the reader think that no one must look at them. “The Japanese tourists come towards us, twittering, and we turn our heads away too late: our faces have been seen.”(28) From what I have gathered by reading so far, these women are not to be looked at. They wear all of these clothes so people do not look at them. Once they see these tourists and what they wear and how they show their heads and how one of them had open toed sandals and their toenails are painted pink. These women like Offred and Ofglen have been used to being so covered that they are fascinated by the mere look of how these people are walking around without covering their hair and wearing skirts so short, even though they were just right under the knee. They feel fascinated but yet at the same time they feel repelled. “I also know better than to say yes. Modesty is invisibility, said Aunt Lydia. Never forget it, To be seen is to be penetrated. What you must be, girls, is impenetrable.”(28) I believe that this is somehow their motto or something of the sort. That is why they wear wings on their faces, to prevent people from seeing them.  “Are they happy? How can they be happy? ” (29) Living in a world like this, where power is only for the men, women cannot do anything that would end up wanting them to move up in this political ladder. These women are controlled and I think and believe that in a way they do not even notice it as they are being preoccupied by other things. They gossip to pass news around and to keep themselves occupied and interested in things.

I want to talk about how doctors or certain doctors had been killed then hung. because in some past they performed abortions. With how things are in this time and the declining of births as one may put it, these doctors were not helping. They were looked for and killed for what they have done. These informants ratted them out, and sometimes those same informants could have been nurses or other doctors just to save their own butts. It wasn’t always like that though.


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