Ermm

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SE2421 Contemporary Women’s Writing Week 5: 1 November 2011 Dr Becky Munford (munfordr@cardiff.ac.uk) Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) Language, bodies, desire [pic] Word games (1) ‘I didn’t know what it meant, or even what language it was in….Still, it was a message, and it was in writing, forbidden by that very fact, and it hadn’t yet been discovered. Except by me, for whom it was intended.’ (chapter 9, p. 62) (2) ‘So that’s what’s in the forbidden room! Scrabble!...Now it’s forbidden, for us. Now it’s dangerous. Now it’s indecent. Not it’s something he can’t do with his Wife. Now it’s desirable…We play two games. Larynx, I spell. Valance. Quince. Zygote. I hold the glossy counters with their smooth…show more content…
I 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. I could use it to run, push buttons, of one sort or another, make things happen. There were limits but my body was nevertheless lithe, single, solid, one with me. 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 wrapping. Inside it is a space, huge as the sky at night and dark and curved like that, though black-red rather than black. Pinpoints of light well, sparkle, burst and shrivel within it, countless as stars. Every month there is a moon, gigantic, round, heavy, an omen. It transits, pauses, continues on an passes out of sight, and I see despair coming towards me like famine. To feel that empty, again, again. I listen to my heart, wave upon wave, salty and red, continuing on and on, marking time. (chapter 11, pp. 83-84) (8) Write! and your self-seeking text will know itself better than flesh and blood, rising insurrectionary dough kneading itself, with sonorous, perfumed ingredients, a lively combination of flying colors, leaves, and rivers plunging into the sea we feed...Oral drive, anal drive, vocal drive – all theses drives are our strengths, and among them is the gestation drive – just like the desire

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