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Friendship of Offred and Moira

What contribution to the novel is made by the character Moira? Moira is a main influential character throughout the novel especially to Offred. During this novel I am going to look at the importance of Moira and her as a character, focusing on her opinions, rebellions and her relationship with Offred. Also how the role in Gilead leads to her feministic actions to escape to a better place that most women only fantasize about. As Offred s best friend from college, Moira is an opinionated, strong lesbian and a dependable feminist.

She is an important symbol that embodies female resourcefulness and independence. This is seen through her defiant nature contrasts so obviously with the behaviour of the other women in the novel whom simply let Gilead society rule them blocking out their own opinions and freedom. Margaret Atwood chooses a character like Offred to be the narrator as she is simple and average women who is appreciative of past times whilst lacking imagination.

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This is done so that characters such as Moira are able to stand out as a symbol of strong feminism contrasting to the normal situation.

We see this when Offred when meets Moira who has been recaptured and is working as a prostitute at Jezebel s, servicing the Commanders. Margaret Atwood by placing Moira not as a handmaid but as a prostitute represents an alternative to the lower subservience and acceptance of the fate that most of the Handmaids adopt as she rejected the position of a handmaid once again showing her strength and disagreement with the society unlike Offred s involvement.

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However apart from this their relationship through out the novel is very strong.

Moira s relationship with Offred characterizes female friendship throughout the novel. The kind of relationship that Moira and Offred maintain from college onward does not exist in Gilead. Gilead claims to promote solidarity between women, but in fact it only produces suspicion, hostility, and petty cruelty. Looking at Offred we see how she continuously thinks of her old friend allowing her to escape from her unpleasant reality. We see this when Offred says, Moira, breezing into my room. The use of the verb, Breezing.

Implies to the reader that to Offred thinks of Moira much like a breath of fresh air in this case when she not only enters the room but when she enters Offred s thoughts reminding her of a better time escaping her from the harsh reality. This is why they have such a thoughtful friendship as they save each other from difficult time helping each other through Gilead society even though Margaret Atwood has created them to have contrasting roles in the modern society and these are seen in Offred s memories.

In Offred s flashbacks, Moira also embodies female resistance to Gilead as she is a lesbian, which means that she rejects male-female sexual interactions, the only kind that Gilead values. This is why because of these objections she is the character in the novel whom everyone idolise as she continuously rebels and she tries escapes giving hope for others which they are scared to achieve themselves. For Moira s first attempt at escaping from the Centre, she is beaten with steel cables on both of her feet and the other handmaids have to carry her because she can t walk.

This enables the Aunts to warn everyone that they are very honest about their willingness to use violence to accomplish their goals as we see when it is said, Remember. For our purposes your feet and your hands are not essential. This surprises both Offred and Moira as they are unaware how well respected the Aunts are. They feel this because from before Moira explains, What I didn t know of course was that in those early days the Aunts and even the Re-education Centre was hardly common knowledge. It was all secret at first, behind barbed wire.

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