Although the two plots of Half Hanged Mary and The Handmaid’s Tale are completely different from each other, yet the main characters of the two i.e. Mary and Offred respectively resemble each other in many ways. The first similarity between the two is that both are women…
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Mary survives a hanging ranged over several hours In addition to that both Mary and Offred experience lack of empathy from the women. Mary expects her supposed friends to help her. She reflects upon the ways she had helped them in different ways, expecting them to help her out now;
While Mary’s old friends do not empathize with her while she is hung because they want to be different from her, Serena, the Commander’s wife, assists the Commander in his heinous act of making love to Offred just for the sake of a baby. Both Mary and Offred find that women are only there to maximize their sufferings rather than reducing them. Serena’s distaste for Offred is evident from the way she asks Offred to leave after she has had sex with the Commander; she says, “You can get up now. Get up and get out” (Atwood 95).
Mary and Offred differ in their experiences. While Mary’s punishment is a tale that ranges from 7:00 pm to 8:00 am, Offred suffers for many months. The nature of their punishments is totally different from each other. Mary is hanged whereas Offred is punished in terms of her forced separation from Luke and her daughter, forced sex with the Commander, and indecent proposals from the doctor, and a life of submissiveness and servitude to the Commander. Although both Mary and Offred are women of strong nerves, yet Mary expresses it overtly whereas Offred’s patience and stamina is evident from the multifarious traumatic experiences she narrates in the story and yet retains the courage to give her life a last chance by escaping in the wan. Mary expresses her determination in these words,
Mary and Offred are both women and this is their crime. Mary and Offred find other women involved in men’s ways to traumatize them. Mary and Offred have strong nerves. The two women differ in their nature of sufferings, their experiences, and the duration of their
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