the handmaid’s tale

“… perhaps she’s sewing, in the sitting room with her left foot on the footstool, because of her arthritis.  Or knitting scarves, for the Angels at the front lines.  I can hardly believe the Angels have a need for such scarves; anyway, the ones made by the Commander’s Wife are too elaborate.  She doesn’t bother with the cross-and-star pattern used by many of the other wives, it’s not a challenge.  Fir trees march across the ends of her scarves, or eagles, or stiff humanoid figures, boy and girl, boy and girl.  They aren’t scarves for grown men but for children.

Sometimes I think these scarves aren’t sent to the Angels at all, but unraveled and turned back into balls of yarn to be knitted again in their turn.  Maybe it’s just something to keep the Wives busy, to give them a sense of purpose.  But I envy the Commander’s Wife with her knitting.  It’s good to have small goals that can be easily attained.”

by Margaret Atwood (c) 1986, p. 13

3 thoughts on “the handmaid’s tale

  1. I read that several years ago, but I don’t recall the knitting. Probably because I wasn’t knitting at the time. Maybe I should revisit it.

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