The most striking part of this section of The Handmaid’s Tale in my opinion was Offred’s recollection of Moira’s escape from the Red Center. Moira caused a toilet to overflow in order to distract Aunt Elizabeth, and then Moira jabbed something into Aunt Elizabeth’s ribs in order to get her into the furnace room. Moira tied up Aunt Elizabeth and stole her clothes. She used to pass to walk freely out of the Red Center and no one has seen or heard from Moira since then. She is the only woman that we have seen so far in the book who has actively rebelled against the Republic of Gilead. What she lacks in physical strength is made up for in her ability to outwit the system of oppression.
The nature of Moira’s rebellion was what really made this chapter stick out to me. The Republic of Gilead oppresses the women by forcing them into a caste system and projecting what caste they are in based on the clothes and colors that they wear. They are trapped in these roles and they are forced to project this oppression through their clothing. Moira, on the other hand, uses this system to her advantage and is able to use Aunt Elizabeth’s clothes to secure her freedom from the Red Center. If it were not for the oppressive systems and cultures of Gilead, this tactic would not have worked and Moira would not have been successful in her escape. What was once used as a symbol of domination over the women of Gilead became the vehicle for one woman’s escape. The subversion of this symbol of power is especially important because one of the hallmarks of the Republic of Gilead is being used against the institution itself.