The Handmaid's Tale Key Quotes: Marriage

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  • Created on: 20-02-18 19:57
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  • The Handmaid's Tale Key Quotes: Marriage
  • "As for my husband, she said, he's just that. My husband. Till death do us part. It's final."
    • Chapter 3. Serena Joy relies on a quotation from the marriage ceremony to remind the narrator of how little she should be able to enter into this standing relationship with the Commander
  • [about Nick] "Low status: he hasn't been issued a woman, not even one. He doesn't rate."
    • Chapter 4. Gilead takes arranged marriages to a whole new level. The union of marriage is no longer an emotional or spiritual thing; it's strictly politics
  • "It's not the husbands you have to watch out for, said Aunt Lydia, it's the Wives...f course they will resent you. It is only natural. "
    • Chapter 8.Significantly, "Wives" is capitalized while "husbands" is not. Husbands have other jobs, but a Wife is a wife and a wife only. Marriage grants her a certain honorific status.
    • also significant that Aunt Lydia can acknowledge the disruption of the sanctity of marriage that is caused by the rules and regulations in Gilead. This is why it is natural for the Wives to feel the way that they do.
  • "Though at that time men and women tried each other on, casually, like suits, rejecting whatever did not fit."
    • Chapter 9. Here, Atwood offers us a contrast between the previous society and the Republic of Gilead particularly highlighting the casualty of sex. Although sex is prevalent within Gilead, it's connotations are much more pious and dutiful opposed to promiscuous ravishing.
  • [The regime declared] "all second marriages and nonmarital liaisons adulterous, arresting the female partners, and, on the grounds that they were morally unfit."
    • Historical Notes. A professor elucidates the social structure of women during the Republic of Gildead era.


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