Notes, Handmaid’s Tale

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As you read chapters 5-7 of The Handmaid’s Tale for next class, continue taking notes on one of the following numbers from each category:

Category One

  1. Symbolism of colors
  2. Relationship between female characters
  3. Description of interior spaces

Category Two: Atwood’s Satire Targets

  1. “Rapid change into extraordinary brutality from an apparently civilized society”
  2. A superficial and misleading focus on “family values” in oppressive societies
  3. A focus on indoctrinating the young in repressive regimes
  4. To oppress groups, oppressive leaders first dehumanize them
  5. Books and literacy were seen as threats in oppressive societies
  6. Oppression of women — e.g., requirements to be fully covered, limitations on their education
  7. Objectification of women, women = their bodies, women’s bodies are their most important asset
  8. Government through fear — brutal punishments to intimidate the population
  9. Rigid gender roles — each gender serves a specific, prescribed function in society
  10. The evils of slavery

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Motif: A reoccurring theme, image, or idea in an artistic work.

As you read chapters 8-12, please take notes on one of the following numbers from each category:

Category One: Motifs

  1. Color and light
  2. Human body and mutilation
  3. Animals and nature
  4. Parings and opposites
  5. Mirrors

Category Two: Atwood’s Satire Targets

  1. “Rapid change into extraordinary brutality from an apparently civilized society”
  2. A superficial and misleading focus on “family values” in oppressive societies
  3. A focus on indoctrinating the young in repressive regimes
  4. To oppress groups, oppressive leaders first dehumanize them
  5. Books and literacy were seen as threats in oppressive societies
  6. Oppression of women — e.g., requirements to be fully covered, limitations on their education
  7. Objectification of women, women = their bodies, women’s bodies are their most important asset
  8. Government through fear — brutal punishments to intimidate the population
  9. Rigid gender roles — each gender serves a specific, prescribed function in society
  10. The evils of slavery
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