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<ul><li>Offred watches a Commander open the proceedings then they sing the old hymn, “There is a Balm in Gilead.” Offred r...
<ul><li>Offred remembers her discussion of what is missing in Gilead. When she asks him about love, he replies that arrang...
<ul><li>As they leave, Ofglen tells Offred that “we” (mayday) know her evenings with the Commander and asks Offred what ha...
<ul><li>The biblical Gilead was the land east of the Jordan River, home of the state of Jordan today. It was famous for th...
<ul><li>But there is nothing soothing, restful and uplifting in the republic of Gilead. So Moira’s “There is a bomb in Gil...
<ul><li>The Commander in charge of the ceremony makes a point about women's lives in &quot;the time before“. This argument...
<ul><li>The Commander argues that women are now protected from all the problems they experienced before, though it is not ...
<ul><li>The word “prayvaganza” is used, and this combines the words “pray” with “extravaganza”. This emphasises that in Gi...
<ul><li>Offred confirms herself as a perceptive and intelligent narrator (showing how the authorities have, so far, failed...
<ul><li>Atwood is able to, with the aid of a religious ceremony, infer a comparison between Handmaid’s and Nuns. The simil...
<ul><li>Aunt Lydia once said that they were aiming for a sense of “camaraderie among women”. Ironically, toward the end of...
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Chapter 34 Power Point

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Chapter 34 Power Point

  1. 2. <ul><li>Offred watches a Commander open the proceedings then they sing the old hymn, “There is a Balm in Gilead.” Offred remembers Moira’s version; “There is a Bomb in Gilead.” Next, 20 Angels, newly returned from the front, enter for their marriage ceremony. They are joined by 20 veiled young women in white with their mothers. These marriages have been arranged by the authorities, some girls being as young as 14. </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Offred remembers her discussion of what is missing in Gilead. When she asks him about love, he replies that arranged marriages work out better. Now, with arranged marriages, nobody is left out, the Commander had told her. </li></ul><ul><li>The couples kneel and the Commander leads them through their vows, which remind the brides of their secondary place as servants to their husbands, and the ceremony is done. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>As they leave, Ofglen tells Offred that “we” (mayday) know her evenings with the Commander and asks Offred what happens. Offred answers ambiguously. Before parting, Ofglen tells her to find out anything at all about Gilead. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>The biblical Gilead was the land east of the Jordan River, home of the state of Jordan today. It was famous for the wound healing balm made from the sap of its trees. The hymn speaks of a metaphorical balm; “There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.” </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>But there is nothing soothing, restful and uplifting in the republic of Gilead. So Moira’s “There is a bomb in Gilead” is true; Gilead is full of bombs – time bombs just waiting to explode in revolution. Now with Mayday, these bombs are combining their explosive force. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>The Commander in charge of the ceremony makes a point about women's lives in &quot;the time before“. This argument is extremely similar to arguments made by feminists, both back then and now. They argued that women were only valued for their appearance and how sexually attractive they were. The feminists said that women were manipulated into trying to make their appearance conform to what males wanted (publicised through the media) and to look how females ‘should’, instead of how they naturally looked. Also, if they did get married, their husbands would fail and abuse them, either by leaving them or mistreating them. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>The Commander argues that women are now protected from all the problems they experienced before, though it is not a kind of protection that feminists would have had in mind. The Commander also misses a lot out, for example, when he fails to mention how Unwomen are shipped off to the colonies instead of being protected. He also fails to mention that his take on the word protection is simply oppression. </li></ul><ul><li>While before feminists argued that women were only judged on physical attractiveness, now it seems as if they are judges purely on their ovaries’ abilities. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>The word “prayvaganza” is used, and this combines the words “pray” with “extravaganza”. This emphasises that in Gilead that prayer is compulsary and is seen to serve the country as a whole. Church and state now make up one single entity, a stark contrast to the Constitution which enforces a seperation. Prayer used to be a personal, private choice, but is now an act of patriotism. The banner that hangs over the “Prayvaganza” reads “God is a National Resource”, and this clearly shows how inextricably linked the two now are. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Offred confirms herself as a perceptive and intelligent narrator (showing how the authorities have, so far, failed to brain wash her) when she points out that arrange marriages remove uncertainly and inequality, they also remove love and happiness and freedom, and these are shown to be values left from the days before Gilead but which are no longer valued. </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Atwood is able to, with the aid of a religious ceremony, infer a comparison between Handmaid’s and Nuns. The similarities are obvious to see (such as their dress, their duty to follow God, etc.), but one of the main differences is that, while Nuns take a vow of Celibacy, Handmaid’s pure aim and objective is to reproduce. Nuns, before Gilead day, were seen as harmless and holy, but now, in the eyes of those in power in Gilead, represent a major problem and threat in their decision to defy the republic and not reproduce. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Aunt Lydia once said that they were aiming for a sense of “camaraderie among women”. Ironically, toward the end of the chapter, Ofglen and Offred show that there is among the Handmaids where they speak almost openly about the private meeting between Offred and her Commander and Offred is asked to find out “anything you can”. The camaraderie exists, just not between different ranks of women, hardly showing a harmonious society. </li></ul>

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