The Patriarchal Male Discourse

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Offred’s technique of revealing the patriarchal male discourse is by describing Gilead using the language and “truth” of the new regime. The issue at hand here is whether this “truth” is portrayed from a solely critical standpoint. I would argue that Offred is aware of a different “truth” but presents it in a way that creates a hesitancy of whether she has been “affected” by the Gilead “truth”. In other words, it is unclear whether Gilead 's discourse has led her to view its values as somewhat acceptable. An example of this is when she is at the doctor’s to test her fertility since her function as a Handmaid is merely to conceive a child. The doctor offers to impregnate her himself as her commander might be sterile.This is forbidden but the risk of getting caught is minimal. Despite this she hesitates: [‘I could help you’, he says. Whispers. ‘What?’ I say...’ I could help you. I’ve helped others’ ... ’the door is locked. No one will come in. They’ll never know it isn’t his.’ … ‘Most of the old guys can’t make it any more… or they’re sterile.’ I almost gasp: he said a forbidden word. Sterile. ‘It’s too dangerous,’ I say. ‘No I can’t.’ The penalty is death. I put on my clothes again behind the screen. My hands are shaking. Why am I frightened? I’ve crossed no boundaries, I’ve given no trust, taken no risk, all is safe. It’s the choice that terrifies me. A way out, a salvation. (70-71)] It is not likely that fear alone would affect Offred since if she does not get pregnant in
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