Graham Costain- Deconstruction

When applying the deconstructionist lens to the event of the particicution, one must be aware of heavy substance that is absent from mention. It can give context to the reader and is highly interpretative and personal. However, before this missing content is analysed, binary opposites must be recognized. Opposites that can be seen during the particicution include Nature vs. Civilization, Mercy vs. Cruelty and Truth vs. Falsehood.
Nature vs. Civilization: The particicution is fascinating for many reasons, one being the fact that a society which claims to have moved forward to a more civilized way of life would order a malicious attack on an un-armed man, and that this order would be followed with such fervor. Even Offred felt her blood boil upon hearing that a potential baby was killed. Several questions can be asked, why does a nation that so aggressively preaches the word of God so blatantly go against the new testaments teachings? Gilead is clearly not a Jewish or Catholic nation, therefore the New Testament SHOULD be “the end all be all” of God’s word. Instead, Gilead is influenced by passages in the Old Testament, including Jeremiah, Genesis and Job. The archaic way in which the government operates is not in line with the original source material and begs the question; does the government actually believe what they preach? Or do they only use religion as a tool to control the populace?
Mercy vs. Cruelty: The battered and disabled state the accused man was in when Ofglen first sees him makes it clear that he has been tortured and possibly drugged. However, the question that remains is what precisely was done to him? One would think that the Government would make it clear what disobedience would result in, after all, fear is a powerful motivator. The government would want to show that a slow death wasn’t in the cards, and that torture and interrogation would be inevitable.
Truth vs. Falsehood: The fact that the reason for this man’s death is false makes one wonder why the government bothered lying. The citizens obviously know that some resistance to the current Government does exist and if the ones in power chose to make an example of these divergents (without giving information regarding how many there are) the rest of the populace would be less inclined to challenge them. Taking this further, what purpose does this particution serve, does it inspire loyalty? Does it increase the sense of community between handmaidens? Or might it have the opposite effect? Possibly creating further hatred towards Gilead due to the barbaric acts the handmaidens are forced to perform. These questions make one wonder how long this Government can survive for, without love, respect, and fear the establishment will eventually falter and fall, no regime can last forever. The lies that the Government is spreading will eventually become known, and rebellions with rise with help from the outside.
In conclusion, by searching for the binary opposites and hidden content that Atwood’s novel contains, one can form an analysis that is highly personal, and very far-reaching.