Handmaid's tale Quotes

Handmaid's tale Quotes

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  • Created on: 14-10-11 10:01
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General Quotes
"Blessed be the fruit." Chapter 4
"There is more than one kind of freedom...Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of
anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."
Chapter 5
"She is a flag on a hilltop, showing what can still be done: we too can be saved." Chapter 5
"They are very interested in how other households are run such bits of petty gossip give
them an opportunity for pride or discontent." Chapter 5
"Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now,
but after a time it will. It will become ordinary." Chapter 6
"I'll pretend you can hear me. But it's no good, because I know you can't." Chapter 7
"She doesn't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home,
but it doesn't seem to agree with her. How furious she must be now that she has been taken
at her word." Chapter 8
"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum" Chapter 9
"We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the
edge of print. It gave us more freedom." Chapter 10
"I don't want to look at something that determines me so completely." Chapter 12
"I wait. I compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a
speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born." Chapter 12
"Her fault, her fault, her fault, we chant in unison." Chapter 13
"I have failed once again to fulfil the expectations of others, which have become my own."
Chapter 13
"Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of
the womb? Behold my maid Bilhah. She shall bear fruit upon my knees, that I may also have
children by her." Chapter 15
"Moira had power now, she'd been set loose, she'd set herself loose. She was now a loose
woman." Chapter 22
"Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can
do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit
can who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do
what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing." Chapter 23
"There is something subversive about this garden of Serena's, a sense of buried things
bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light, as if to say: Whatever is silenced will clamor to
be heard, though silently." Chapter 25
"That was one of the things they do. They force you to kill, within yourself." Chapter 30

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Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse for some." Chapter
"Agreed to it right away, really she didn't care anything with two legs and a good
youknowwhat was fine with her. They aren't squeamish they don't have the same feelings
we do." Chapter 33
"And Adam was not deceived, but the women being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved by childbearing." Chapter 34
"There is something reassuring about the toilets.…read more

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Important Quotations Explained
1. Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but
after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
This quotation is from the end of Chapter 6. Offred and Ofglen are standing by the Wall, looking
at the bodies of people who have been hanged by Gilead. The sight horrifies Offred, but she
strains to push aside her repugnance and substitute an emotional "blankness.…read more

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Offred puts it, "a cloud, congealed around a central object, which is hard and more
real than I am."
4. He was not a monster, to her. Probably he had some endearing trait: he whistled, offkey, in the
shower, he had a yen for truffles, he called his dog Liebchen and made it sit up for little pieces of
raw steak. How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all. What an available temptation.…read more

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The Handmaid's Tale Identity Quotes
We learned to lipread, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching
each other's mouths. In this way we exchanged names from bed to bed:
Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June. (1.56)
Trapped as they are in the new society of Gilead, the narrator and her peers are forbidden from
speaking or even using their real names.…read more

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Here the narrator tries to distance herself from the new name society has given her. She attempts,
unsuccessfully, to convince herself that her name is separate from her identity. Getting to use her "real
name" is important: it "does matter." When people are kept from using their real names, they become
lesser versions of themselves and start to lose hold of their individuality and uniqueness.
And if I talk to him I'll say something wrong, give something away.…read more

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The Handmaid's Tale Children Quotes
Anyways, they're doing it for us all, said Cora, or so they say. If I hadn't of got my
tubes tied, it could have been me, say I was ten years younger. It's not that bad.
It's not what you'd call hard work. (1.20)
Cora's comment reveals a problem built into this new society, which is the lack of respect between
Marthas and Handmaids, and the idea that the Handmaids have it easy.…read more

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Handmaids don't love, only to be torn apart from that child after it's born, certainly seems
like hard work, both emotionally and mentally.
The Commander's Wife directs, pointing with her stick. Many of the Wives have
such gardens, it's something for them to order and maintain and care for.
I once had a garden. I can remember the smell of the turned earth, the plump
shapes of bulbs held in the hands, fullness, the dry rustle of seeds through the
fingers. (3.…read more

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Aunt Elizabeth, holding the baby, looks up at us and smiles. We smile too, we are
one smile, tears run down our cheeks, we are so happy.
Our happiness is part memory. What I remember is Luke, with me in the hospital,
standing beside my head, holding my hand, in the green gown and white mask they
gave him. Oh, he said, oh Jesus, breath coming out in wonder. (21.2425)
Here the narrator celebrates something it seems like she'll never have again.…read more

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