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Why doesnt Gilead give the handmaids a version of "pig balls" to pass the time?

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shakeitt | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 4, 2009 at 4:50 AM via web

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Why doesnt Gilead give the handmaids a version of "pig balls" to pass the time?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:16 PM (Answer #1)

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In the book The Handmaid's Tale women who are considered to be fertile are placed in an old gym and re-programed to serve as simple minded bodies to be used for reproduction purposes only

As part of their mental re-programing the women undergo isolation from others and are taught that sexual acts are bad and not meant for pleasure but for reproduction.  The women are taught how to behave in a certain manner, to be submissive, and to follow all rules given to them.

One of the ways in which these women are made to feel inferior and to put them in a mental zone of recalling their place in the Gilead society is by having them sit for hours waiting to be part of the reproduction ceremony.  They are forced to learn patience.

The "pig balls" that you are referring to were given to the pigs to keep them entertained because pigs become destructive when they become bored. 

In the case of the handmaids, keeping them bored an without pleasure is part of the process of dehumanizing the women so that they become vessels who carry a child and nothing more.

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