Aunt Lydia’s words suggest that Gilead succeeds not by making people believe that its ways are right, but by making people forget what a different world could be like. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance.Torture and tyranny become accepted because they are “what you are used to.” I would like to believe this is a story I’m telling. If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending.
Yet he is also the agent of her oppression—both directly, as her Commander, and indirectly, through his role in constructing the oppressive edifice of Gileadean society.
Knowing I can’t go back to my life as it once was makes me miss it so much.
My mother is the one having long talks with my husband at night, or going to a nice restaurant with him or the theatre and I am at a grubby pub every night with my alcoholic lover.
What an available temptation., Offred remembers a documentary that she watched about a woman who was the mistress of a Nazi death camp guard. You know what they were complaining about the most? The benefits of the new world are not worth the cost in human misery.
She recalls how the woman insisted that her lover was not a “monster,” and she compares that woman’s situation to her own, as she spends her evenings with the Commander and comes to almost like him. It is a “temptation,” she says, meaning that no one wants to believe that someone they know is a monster.