While reading tasks zu 'The Handmaid's Tale' von Margaret Atwood

Englisch

28. Mai '20

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Beantworte folgende while reading tasks zu 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Section 2: Parts IV-VII (pp. 49-112) - While-reading tasks Chapter 8: Finish the following sentences: 1. The new bodies on the wall are ... 2. Ofglen uses the word ... 3. Nick greets the narrator but ... 4. Serena Joy used to ... 5. Rita frowns at the shopping ... 6. The narrator meets the Commander in the hall ... Chapter 9: Fill in the table: hotel room narrator's room at the Commander's house Chapter 10: Describe how women used to look and behave in the summer. Chapter 11: Compare what happens in the doctor's office in the Republic of Gilead with a visit to today's doctors. Today Republic of Gilead Chapters 13--15: List the people and things that the Commander is compared to OR Make a sketch of the Commander's room. Chapters 16: Find words in the chapter which refer to love/passion or reproduction. love/passion reproduction Chapters 17-18: Sum up both chapters in one sentence each. The Handmaid's Tale, while-reading questions chapters 19-30 (Section III) 1. The chances that Ofwarren will deliver a healthy baby are only one in four. What does this indicate about the state of the environment? 2. Since they play no real role in the birth process, why do the Wives and Handmaids all attend the birth of Ofwarren’s/Janine’s child? 3. Since the birth is a special women’s event, why are the Handmaids given inferior food to that of the Wives? 4.Offred notes that all machines that could tell the viability of a fetus have been outlawed in Gilead. What does this reveal about the society? 5. Why are the Handmaid trainees at the Center shown films of pro-choice feminist rallies after having viewed violent pornography? 6. How could Offred have vindicated her mother? 7. If birthing babies is Gilead’s chief goal, why are the babies spoken of so callously? 8. Of all the games he could choose, why does the Commander want to play Scrabble? 9. Why does the Commander ask Offred to kiss him? 10. Why is it significant that Offred recalls a documentary featuring the mistress of a commander from the Nazi concentration camps after her “date” with the Commander of her household? 11. Why does Cora panic when she sees Offred asleep on the floor? 12. What is important about the models in the copy of Vogue? 13. How does the Commander justify having copies of fashion magazines such as Vogue if they were supposed to have been burned during the revolution? 14. How does Offred feel power over Serena Joy? 15. Why is Offred so hesitant to reply to Ofglen’s question about the Soul Scrolls? 16. What do the Soul Scrolls reveal about the spirituality of Gilead? 17. How was Gilead able to kill the President and Congress? 18. During the revolution, why did the government freeze women’s bank accounts at the same time that it dismissed women from their jobs? 19. What does Offred realize when the Commander shows her that Nolite te bastardes carborundorum came from the margins of his textbook? 20. What is the significance of the Handmaids’ prayer at the Red Center? The Handmaid's Tale, while-reading questions chapters 31-end (Section 4) 1. What bothers Offred about Moira's recollection that women once were banned from Memorial Hall? 2. Is there any truth to the Commander’s idea that men were turned off by sex in pre-Gilead America because of women’s availability? 3. What does the Commander’s statement “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs” mean? 4. What is Ofwarren’s/Janine’s role in the novel? 5. Is Offred a wimp, as Moira suggests? 6. How does Offred know that the Commander has taken such an adventure before? 7. What is the significance of the fact that a number of the prostitutes at Jezebel’s were professional women in the days before the revolution? 8. Moira worried that the Quaker family would not open the door to her because she was dressed in an Aunt’s outfit. Why is it significant that this did not happen? 9. Why does Moira lose her will to resist? 10. Why does Luke resist Offred’s suggestion to call the police after her mother’s disappearance? 11. Why does Offred offer two different versions of her encounter with Nick? 12. Why does Offred say that she did not behave well when speaking of her relationship with Nick? 13. Why are the Salvagings and Particicutions public ceremonies? 14. Why do the Handmaids act so murderously? 15. Why doesn’t Offred take part in the Particicution? 16. What are possible reasons for Ofglen’s near-arrest? 17. How does Serena Joy find out that Offred and her husband have been meeting secretly at night? 18. Who has summoned the Eyes to arrest Offred? 19. One of the events Crescent Moon announces is a nature walk. Given that the symposium takes place close to the Arctic Circle, what does this suggest? 20. What is the significance of Pieixoto’s article on Iran and Gilead?

Section 2: Parts IV-VII (pp. 49-112) - While-reading tasks

Chapter 8: Finish the following sentences:

1. The new bodies on the wall are a priest wearing a black cassock and guardians with purple placards hanging Around their neck

2. Ofglen uses the word May day/ Mayday

3. Nick greets the narrator but he is not supposed to speak to the narrator

4. Serena Joy used to Feel for other People.

5. Rita frowns at the shopping she thinks that she Could have Done it better herself

6. The narrator meets the Commander in the hall and the commander walks forward towards the narrator.

Chapter 9: Fill in the table:

hotel room

Dreadful paintings

Fresh towels

Wastebaskets

Bibles

Room service

Postcards

narrator's room at the Commander's house

Stains on the mattress

Glass in the window is shatterproof

Cupboard

Stocking

Scratch: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Plaster under the wallpaper

Scratches in the paint of the baseboard

Chapter 10: Describe how women used to look and behave in the summer.

Women have to wear “summer dresses”, which are hanging in the closet and are Made of pure cotton. Due to that you sweat in this dresses but you do not get a sunburn.

Women were not supposed to think about their complexions

Chapter 11: Compare what happens in the doctor's office in the Republic of Gilead with a visit to today's doctors.

Today

you check in at the reception

you take place in the waiting room till the doctor calls you

then you take place in the examination room

the doctor welcomes you and has a short talk with you

then he does some test (these test are voluntary)

if everything is in order you can go home

Republic of Gilead

it is obligatory to to do test: urine, hormones, cancer smear, blood test

Guardians wait in the hall

nurse records names and numbers of their passes

the nurse is wearing a pistol in his shoulder holster

inner room: Offred takes off her clothes, lies down on the examining table, and clothes up herself with a sheet, she is intersected by a second sheet in order for the doctor to not be able to see her face

she pulls back a lever to call the doctor

he is not allowed to talk to his patients but he does

he leads his finger into Offred

he calls her “honey”

he offers her to make her pregnant to fulfil her purpose

Chapters 13--15: List the people and things that the Commander is compared to OR Make a sketch of the Commander's room.

museum guard ( semi-retired man, genial but wary, killing time)

midwestern bank president ( straight neatly brushed silver hair, sober posture, shoulders a little stooped, silver moustache)

his chin looks like a vodka ad in glossy magazines

he looks over like somebody taking inventory

he is compared to somebody who inherited a Victorian pump organ and does not know what to do with it

shoemaker in an old fairytale book

a garment which has to be put on, although it is out of style or shoddy, because there is nothing else available

a boot, hard on the outside, giving shape to a pulp of tenderfoot

a man toying with a steak, behind a restaurant window, pretending not to see the eyes watching him from hungry darkness not three feet from his elbow

Chapters 16: Find words in the chapter which refer to love/passion or reproduction.

love/passion

arousal and orgasm

she had the choice to be a handmaid

reproduction

“fucking” → it is not “making love” !

“lower part of my body” (she describes it objectively)

Offred describes having sex with the Commander as “serious business”

having sex with a “regular two-four marching stroke” → no passion/love

kissing is forbidden

the commanders does not stay at Offred and Serena

Chapters 17-18: Sum up both chapters in one sentence each.

In chapter 17 Offred wants to steal something from Serena's room and is caught by Nick, a guard of the Commander, and both fondle each other (“liebkosen”). At the end Nick tells Offred that the Commander wants to meet her.

In chapter 18 Offred thinks back to their failed flight and Luke´s unknown future. She imagines three possibilities of Luke´s disposition, the first one is that Luke is dead at the point of their arrest, the second one is that Luke is in prison and the last one is that Luke successfully crossed the border.

The Handmaid's Tale, while-reading questions chapters 19-30 (Section III)

1. The chances that Ofwarren will deliver a healthy baby are only one in four. What does this indicate about the state of the environment? The environment is in a really bad state. As a consequence of this the human fetus does not develop how it should and has different disabilities or it dies at the worst case. This is caused by the bad state of environment due to air pollution by chemicals, rays, radiation and water pollution by “toxic molecules”.

2. Since they play no real role in the birth process, why do the Wives and Handmaids all attend the birth of Ofwarren’s/Janine’s child? I think that's a difficult question but I think there are different reasons why the Wives and Handmaids all attend the birth of Ofwarren's child. I think the Handmaids participate at the birth because they “can do anything they want. I revise that: within the limits.” (p. 117, ll. 65f. ).

3. The birth of a child is a special event that has not that strict rules than usual. The Handmaids act more freely. That feeling of being able to act free is really rare in Gilead. Moreover the Handmaids have to take place at the events (cf. p.117, l. 42). In addition to that also the Wives celebrate the birth of a child because it is special in a world with a declining birth rate. More over the Wives celebrate the birth of a new child because their husbands, if they are the father of the child, will get a promotion (cf. p. 122, l.19).

4. Since the birth is a special women’s event, why are the Handmaids given inferior food to that of the Wives? The Handmaids are given inferior food because the Wives have a better stand in society than the Handmaids so they have more rights and can eat better food. Moreover this injustice shows that the Wives are jealous of the Handmaids because they have a baby with the Commander. This jealousy can also be seen in the scene in which the Commanders had sex with Offred. After the sex Serena Joy was rude to Offred and sent her back to her room although it reduces the chances to get pregnant.

5. Offred notes that all machines that could tell the viability of a fetus have been outlawed in Gilead. What does this reveal about the society? The ban of instruments which enable prenatal care shows that the leadership of Gilead is against abortion. They want every child to be born, probably due to the declining birth rate, although it could be an “Unbaby”. Moreover the regime in “The Handmaid´s Tale” wants to suggest that they are living after the bible and the Bible says that life, especially human life, is holy (cf. the First Book of Moses). That could be another reason why prenatal diagnostic is forbidden in Gilead.

5. Why are the Handmaid trainees at the Center shown films of pro-choice feminist rallies after having viewed violent pornography? I think this is a part of the propaganda of the leadership of Gilead. They want to connect elements which the Handmaids like, which could raise resistance to the system, with things that are brutal or off-putting. As a consequence of that the Handmaids dislike both things.

6. How could Offred have vindicated her mother? I think that is a different question. First of all I think it is difficult to rehabilitate somebody who is an “Unwomen” into the society of Gilead. I think the only way is to be part of the system and to forget own values (feminism,…). If Offred makes that clear to her mother, then there will be a small chance to save her standing (dt. Ruf)

7. If birthing babies is Gilead’s chief goal, why are the babies spoken of so callously? Babies are spoken of so callously because they are born to save the human survival, they are not born as a product of the love of two humans. Because they are born for a specific purpose, the birth of a new baby is spoken of so callously.

8. Of all the games he could choose, why does the Commander want to play Scrabble? The game Scrabble is forbidden in Gilead. I think the Commander play Scrabble with Offred to build a connection. Offred knows that she will have big problems with Serena Joy if she catches her. She could be sent to the Unwomen and die. Because of that Offred is frightened at meeting the Commander. The Commander tries to still Offred’s fears by showing that he also does something that is forbidden.

9. Why does the Commander ask Offred to kiss him? I think the Commander wants to kiss Offred because he felt in love with Offred while having sex with her. Moreover the Commander’s wife does not understand him so the Commander wants to establish an intimate relationship to another person (cf. 162, ll. 22-28).

10. Why is it significant that Offred recalls a documentary featuring the mistress of a commander from the Nazi concentration camps after her “date” with the Commander of her household? The mistress of the Nazi commander comitted suicide after giving the interview. She maintained that the Commander is not a monster and said that she did not know anything about the death camps. Maybe there is a connection between the mistress of the Commander and Offred. Both did not/ do not know what the Commanders did/do. The Commander could do a lot of different cruelties which Offred does not know. She just knows him as a shy person. If she found out what the Commander does at his work, she could be depressive.

11. Why does Cora panic when she sees Offred asleep on the floor? Cora panics when she sees Offred asleep on the floor because she thought that Offred run off (cf. p.156, l. 22). That is forbidden and could have led to disturbances inside the Household and to stricter rules and punishments as a consequence. Moreover she could have thought that Offred hanged herself up.

12. What is important about the models in the copy of Vogue? The model on the magazine has blown hair, a scarfed neck and a lipsticked mouth. The models have candid eyes, shadowed with makeup. They wear boots which go to the knees.

13. How does the Commander justify having copies of fashion magazines such as Vogue if they were supposed to have been burned during the revolution? He says that the magazines are dangerous in the hands of the multitudes but he is allowed to own them because it is safe. He says it is safe because his motives are beyond reproach.

14. How does Offred feel power over Serena Joy? Offred feels power over Serena Joy because she has a relationship with the Commander. Serena Joy moved more and more away from the Commander so the Commander established a new relationship with Offred. Now Offred has special privileges which normally just Wives have. Offred took Serena Joy’s place. That is the reason why she feels so powerful.

15. Why is Offred so hesitant to reply to Ofglen’s question about the Soul Scrolls? Ofglen asks Offred if she thinks that God listens to the machines inside the Soul Scrolls. Offred answers so hesitant because it is forbidden to talk to other Handmaids. They are not allowed to see the eyes of other Handmaids. Although it is forbidden they do. Moreover it is treason to speculate about God (cf. p. 172, ll. 34-37).

16. What do the Soul Scrolls reveal about the spirituality of Gilead? The Soul Scrolls reveal about the society of Gilead that the religion of Gilead is used to earn money. They print more and more prayers to sell them. If you buy a prayer, you show your support for the Gilead regime.

17. How was Gilead able to kill the President and Congress? Gilead said that the culprits are Islamic fanatics. As a consequence of that the could declare a state of emergency. Due to that they could suspend the constitution.

18. During the revolution, why did the government freeze women’s bank accounts at the same time that it dismissed women from their jobs? The government wants women to stay and not to flee so they freezed women’s bank accounts and dismissed women from their jobs.

19. What does Offred realize when the Commander shows her that Nolite te bastardes carborundorum came from the margins of his textbook? She realizes that the woman who lived in Offred’s room also was in the Commander’s room. This woman hanged herself because Serena found out that she was in the Commander’s room.

20. What is the significance of the Handmaids’ prayer at the Red Center? Offred wants God to obliterate her. In her prayer Offred abases herself.

The Handmaid's Tale, while-reading questions chapters 31-end (Section 4)

1. What bothers Offred about Moira's recollection that women once were banned from Memorial Hall?

Offred does not like Moira’s anecdotes because she thinks that Moira is holding grudges against the past (cf. p. 205, ll. 60-63)

2. Is there any truth to the Commander’s idea that men were turned off by sex in pre-Gilead America because of women’s availability? In the Commander’s opinion the reason for the low birth rate is the sexual availability of women. I think this is improbable and only part of Gilead’s view to blame women for many things.

3. What does the Commander’s statement “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs” mean? The Commander’s statement means that you have to destroy something to reach your goal. In this case he downplays what he did to the people living in Gilead. He arrested women and raped them to save human survival. Moreover he downplays that the revolution in Gilead ruined a lot of lives.

4. What is Ofwarren’s/Janine’s role in the novel?

Janine is consciously used in the novel as a symbol for the role of subordinated women. In Gilead it is difficult for Handmaids who lack personal strength, to survive, it even drives them crazy. Although Janine has become pregnant twice and she has done everything right, she is doomed.

5. Is Offred a wimp, as Moira suggests? No, I do not think that Offred is a wimp because she is not a subservient Handmaid. Sometimes for example she wants to steal things. Moreover she does not want to adapt herself to the rules in Gilead and share the mindset of the regime. But she is not a classic rebel, she does not show her resistance in public.

6. How does Offred know that the Commander has taken such an adventure before? At the moment when Offred and the Commander cross the checkpoints you can see that the Commander knows how to behave. He tells Offred for example to hide on the floor of the car (cf. p. 235, ll. 57f.). Moreover already Nick knows what he has to do when the Commander comes home with a Handmaid (cf. p. 236).

7. What is the significance of the fact that a number of the prostitutes at Jezebel’s were professional women in the days before the revolution? The number of prostitutes shows that they rather want to live under sexual exploitation than working in the colonies. Moreover it shows that men are especially interested in women who are smart and have a good education.

8. Moira worried that the Quaker family would not open the door to her because she was dressed in an Aunt’s outfit. Why is it significant that this did not happen? At the beginning of Gilead probably the most people did not know anything about the reproduction through Handmaids. That could be the reason why they also do not know what kind of role Aunts play in the society of Gilead.I think that is the reason why the Quaker family opened the door to Moira. If they had not opened the door, Moira would not have had a place to hide.

9. Why does Moira lose her will to resist? First of all Moira wants to be a Handmaid because she realizes that she will die if she goes to the colonies. But she does not want to live the life as a handmaid anymore. That is the reason why she flees. In the night before she wanted to cross the border Moira is caught. She has the choice to go to the colonies or to work as a prostitute.

10. Why does Luke resist Offred’s suggestion to call the police after her mother’s disappearance? Luke resists Offred’s suggestion to call the police because maybe the police is the reason why Offred’s mother disappeared. Offred’s mother was a feminist. Due to that she was an opponent of the regime.

11. Why does Offred offer two different versions of her encounter with Nick? Offred offers two versions of the sex with Nick. In the first version she describes having sex with Nick very romantically, in the second version she describes it dryly and soberly. She does that because you cannot say what is true or what is false because every story is a reconstruction.

12. Why does Offred say that she did not behave well when speaking of her relationship with Nick? She says that she did not behave well because she told Nick a lot of secrets although she did not know whether she could trust him.

13. Why are the Salvagings and Particicutions public ceremonies? Salvagings and Participations are public ceremonies because the regime wants to show what happens to the people who want to break loose. These public events have the aim to prohibit further resistance.

14. Why do the Handmaids act so murderously? Every Handmaid lives in captivity. They do not have many things to do, are frustrated and often confronted with violence . Moreover they are often traumatized through experiences they made. For example Janine is traumatized because her baby was not able to live, although at the birth everybody thought that Janine gave birth to a healthy baby. These psychological problems could lead to a higher level of aggression.

15. Why doesn’t Offred take part in the Particicution? Offred does not take part because she thinks it is wrong. The other Handmaids take part in the Particicution because they want to seem like real supporters of the regime.

16. What are possible reasons for Ofglen’s near-arrest? I think the most likely reason is that Nick betrayed Ofglen. Offred told him everything about her. Moreover Ofglen could be arrested because she was the person who knocked out the Guardian.

17. How does Serena Joy find out that Offred and her husband have been meeting secretly at night? Serena Joy finds out that there is lipstick on her cloak. That is the reason why she searches the Commander’s room. In his room she finds Offred’s evening dress which Offred wore at Jezebel's.

18. Who has summoned the Eyes to arrest Offred? The reader cannot really tell who summoned the Eyes to arrest Offred. I think that it is unrealistic that the Commander or Serena Joy summoned the Eyes because both of them were surprised when they saw the Eyes at the door. Nick is the person who says that he summoned the Eyes. He wants Offred to go with them and tells her that they are people from Mayday.

19. One of the events Crescent Moon announces is a nature walk. Given that the symposium takes place close to the Arctic Circle, what does this suggest? That the nature walk takes place at the Arctic Circle, shows that climate change has a huge impact on the earth’s climate. The climate changed that much that you can walk in the Arctic Circle (!). I think that is a point which Atwood wants to criticise. She criticises how humans treat their planet. You can also see that in the situation in Gilead. They had to reform the whole society and to exploit humans to save human survival in a world with a bad environmental stand.

20. What is the significance of Pieixoto’s article on Iran and Gilead? Pieixoto’s article on Iran and Gilead shows why Atwood wrote this book. Both countries are monotheocrathies. Atwood wants to emphasize that the development in Gilead can happen to every country. You should not make the mistakes the inhabitants in Gilead did. When the constitution was suspended, the people did nothing and a regime was established.

While reading task

Margaret Atwood

Dystopian

Novelle

book

Gilead

Englisch

English

Totalitäres regime

Offred

Ofwarren

Moira

Cora

ofglen

Langzeitaufgabe

Oberstufe

Lösung

reading log

captivity

gefangenschaft

Oberstufe


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