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Lecture 12

ENGL 246 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Pornography, Claustrophobia

Course Code
ENGL 246
Mark Rozahegy

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June 14, 2016
The Handmaid’s tail
In both we and the handmaid, there is a liberation aspect to sex, or the body
In both texts, the body is so tightly controlled, that it is a conduit of freeing ourselves
She begins to be more active at the end of the text for bodily sensations, like flowers and smells
and what not
She later starts to speak more, very little is said in the beginning
In the beginning, she feels she has very little to exchange, but later she does
Sex used to be controlled, then it is freed
Trauma: p. 348/167
There is a sense in the beginning of claustrophobia and control
The text is a historical account of a group
It is of all the women, mostly handmaids
There is a need to identify who she is, when really it is not relevant, because she is speaking for
a group
She wants to create a memory of the women she knew
The gileal society erases, it erases the near past
The old past, like churches, they do not erase
They are not afraid of that, they hide what happened recently
The recordings were made after the events that are being told
They are an archeological find
The gileals find the recordings threatening because of the memories, the narrator is trying to
work very hard to remember the society before the gileads, which is dangerous
Most women are sterile
The trouble is you have to get handmaids to do their job while remembering not being
handmaids, the next generations will only know being handmaids, that is why the memories are
dangerous, they could know
There are associative links that get you to think a certain way where you forget the way you
thought before
The text is fragmented because the narrative does not go straight through
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