The Handmaid's Tale Key Quotes: Passivity

  • Created by: mhannah
  • Created on: 20-02-18 20:24
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  • The Handmaid's Tale Key Quotes: Passivity
  • "We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it."
    • Chapter 10. This quote implies an active passivity.They have to deliberately refuse to rebel.
  • "But maybe boredom is ******, when women do it, for men."
    • Chapter 13. Offred is an object, and not only is she not being used, she's being kept from using the very parts of herself that made her a person rather than an object.
  • "Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people and only one is involved."
    • Chapter 16. Offred is describing a sex scene for which three people are present but "only one is involved." This displays the forced passivity that occurs during sex in the Republic of Gilead.
  • "It's my life on the line; but that's where it will be sooner or later, one way or another, whether I do or don't. We both know this."
    • Chapter 31. Offred is in danger no matter what she does. Even if she's passive, "sooner or later" push will come to shove and she'll find her life in jeopardy. So this is an argument for acting, to some extent, rather than being completely passive.
  • "What I hear in her voice is indifference, a lack of volition. Have they really done it to her then, taken away something that used to be so central to her?"
    • Chapter 38. Moira, once rebellious, she now seems passive, speaking with "indifference" and "a lack of volition." This whole time, it seems, the narrator has been able not to act because she believed in Moira's potential for action.


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