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How is "date rape" regarded by Moira in The Handmaid's Tale?

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user6963778 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 15, 2013 at 3:20 AM via web

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How is "date rape" regarded by Moira in The Handmaid's Tale?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Moira is a character in this novel who represents the kind of freedom and independence that Offred wishes she has. Moira is an old university friend of Offred and the only mention that she makes of date rape is when Offred remembers when they were at college together and they were talking about a paper Offred had to complete:

Now, said Moira. You don't need to paint your face, it's only me. What's your paper on? I just did one on date rape.

This is shown to be a typical topic for Moira to select for a paper, as she is the only handmaid in the novel who is shown to be liberated and to reject the restrictions that are placed on handmaids. She uses sex as a form of empowerment and, as her subsequent near escape testifies, she is very resourceful in a world where women are stripped of powers and privileges. Eventually, she ends up working in a bar for elite members of the Party where she is able to be herself and live life largely on her own terms. Although the novel does not reveal Moira's specific thoughts and attitudes to date rape, it is clear that she would have been against it as it is something that is a sign of male oppression and female vulnerability.

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