How does Offred compare happiness in the two different societies?
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Offred's greatest psychological resource is her faculty of double vision, for she is a survivor from the past, and it is her power to remember which enables her to survive in the present. It is not only through flashbacks that she reconstructs the past (though these are her most effective escape routes from isolation, loneliness and boredom), but even when she walks down the road she sees everything through a double exposure, with the past superimposed upon the present, or to use her own layered image from Chapter 1, as a 'palimpsest' where the past gives depth to the present. She has perfected the technique of simultaneously inhabiting two spaces: her Handmaid's space (or lack of it) and the freer, happier spaces of memory. Though she is forbidden to use her own name, she keeps it like a buried treasure, as guarantee of her other identity ('I keep the knowledge of this name like something hidden, some treasure.