Quotations (31)

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Pg. 463 Humanity is so adaptable, my Mother would say. Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.
Pg. 411 "Well officially," he says. "But everyone's human, after all." I wait for him to elaborate on this, but he doesn't, so I say, "What does that mean?" "It means you can't cheat Nature," he says. "Nature demands variety, for…
Pg. 392 With that man you wanted it to work, to work out. Working out was also something you did to keep your body in shape, for the man. If you worked out enough, maybe the man would too. Maybe you would be able to work it out…
Pg. 391 The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always for the incarnation. That word, made flesh. And sometimes it happened, for a time. That…
Pg. 380 We've given them more than we've taken away, said the Commander. Think of the trouble they had before. Don't you remember the singles' bars, the indignity of high school blind dates? The meat market. Don't you remember the…
Pg. 366 Better never means better for everyone, he (The Commander) says. It always means worse, for some.
Pg. 340 Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you, Aunt Lydia use to say.
Pg. 338 But she (Aunt Lydia) knew too the spiritual value of bodily rigidity, of muscle strain: a little pain cleans out the mind, she'd say.
Pg. 334 What the commander said is true. One and one and one and one doesn't equal four. Each one remains unique, there is no way of joining them together. They cannot be exchanged, one for the other. They cannot replace each other.
Pg. 282 You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have.
Pg. 268 It's amazing what denial can do.
Pg. 267 Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently.
Pg. 246 I'm not giving anything away: selling only.
Pg. 239 But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to with-hold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it.
Pg. 217 Regarding Mother I am not your justification for existence, I said to her once. I want her back, I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.
Pg. 208 You are a transitional generation, said Aunt Lydia. It is the hardest for you. We know the sacrifices you are being expected to make. It is hard when men revile you. For the ones who come after you, it will be easier. They…
Pg. 97 Though at that time men and women tried each other on, casually, like suits, rejecting whatever did not fit.
Pg. 71 Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are use to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
Pg 54 These women could be undone; or not. They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.
“My name isn’t Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it’s forbidden. I tell myself it doesn’t matter, your name is like your telephone number, useful only to others; but what I tell myself is wrong, it does matter.”
As long as we do this, butter our skin to keep it soft, we can believe that we will some day get out, that we will be touched again, in love or desire. We have ceremonies of our own, private ones.
There can be alliances even in such places, even under such circumstances. This is something you can depend upon: there will always be alliances of one kind of another.
It is the hardest for you. We know the sacrifices you are being expected to make. It is hard when men revile you. For the ones who come after you, it will be easier. They will accept their duties with willing hearts. She did not say:…
What he's telling us, his level smile implies, is for our own good. Everything will be all right soon. I promise. There will be peace. You must trust. You must go to sleep, like good children.
We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.