In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a word that is given a new meaning is ‘ceremony.’ As we know it, ceremonies are rituals of significance usually performed on special occasions. In the novel, we know that handmaids are assigned to couples with privileged statuses that cannot have children on their own; handmaids are responsible for bearing the couple’s child. The ceremony is the act by which the child is conceived, a rather uncomfortable experience for the handmaids. In this act, the handmaid lies between the legs of the wife, who holds the handmaid’s hands signifying that they are one flesh, while the husband performs the penetration.
One of the invented words in the novel is ‘Prayvaganza,’ which is a public gathering of celebration. Women’s Prayvaganzas are usually group weddings of arranged marriages of young girls. On the other hand, men’s Prayvaganzas were for military victories. One interesting definition change was for the word ‘salvaging,’ which means to rescue or save. In the Republic of Gilead women who resisted or went against the republic’s principles they were hung and displayed on a wall as an example of the consequences of defiance; this ritual was called salvaging. In the novel after the salvaging there was a ‘particicution,’ in which one guard was brutally beaten by the handmaids. This other ritual was a punishment for the guards who were accused of a crime against a handmaid. In the execution, the handmaids were encouraged to beat the criminal to death.
This vocabulary shows the brutal ways of the reality depicted in the novel. It’s particularly interesting how the majority of the vocabulary is negatively directed towards women. From this we learn how women were objectified and used for their ‘services,’ by being assigned to positions depending on their abilities. This was definitely a male dominated society that held all the power and control in masculinity. In “Night,” there were some words which were given a different meaning. I think that the title of the story is the first definition changer. As we know it, night time is the period of time between the sunset and the sunrise. However in this work, night becomes a symbol, or even a synonym, for suffering and torture. Throughout the story the most emotionally painful events happen to Elie at night, thus