The Handmaid’s Tale
Important Quotations Explained
said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary
to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
would like to believe this is a story I’m telling. I need to believe
it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are
only stories have a better chance. If it’s a story I’m telling,
then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending,
to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where
I left off.
used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means
of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my
will . . . Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud,
congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is
hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent
was not a monster, to her. Probably he had some endearing trait:
he whistled, offkey, in the shower, he had a yen for truffles, he
called his dog Liebchen and made it sit up for little pieces of
raw steak. How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.
What an available temptation.
problem wasn’t only with the women, he says. The main problem was
with the men. There was nothing for them anymore . . . I’m not talking
about sex, he says. That was part of it, the sex was too easy . .
. You know what they were complaining about the most? Inability
to feel. Men were turning off on sex, even. They were turning off
on marriage. Do they feel now? I say. Yes, he says, looking at me.
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