The Handmaid's Tale

What does "Context is all" mean?

What does "Context is all" mean?

Asked by
Last updated by Sharon K #633460
Answers 2
Add Yours

Atwood emphasises how changes in context affect behaviours and attitudes by repeating the phrase "Context is all" throughout the novel, establishing this precept as a motif (e.g., 144, 192). Playing the game of Scrabble with her Commander illustrates the key significance of changes in "context"; once "the game of old men and women", the game became forbidden for women to play and therefore "desirable" (178–79). Through living in a morally rigid society, Offred has come to perceive the world differently than earlier. At one point, Offred is amazed at how "It has taken so little time to change our minds about things" (36). Revealing clothes and makeup were part of her former life; yet, when she encounters some Japanese tourists wearing these, she is intrigued by her feeling that they are inappropriately dressed (36).


Context is a creeping asset diamond that is bubbling to the top of consciousness again. In the slippery slope of how to capture the meaning of words in all uses, text was being discussed in reference to the importance of context within the battle of text .vs data and IT. Please start with a previous read of PAUL SAFFO'S article in WIRED MAGAZINE 03.01.94 in the piece IT’S THE CONTEXT, STUPID... I know what happened to these efforts and the "why" as I peer into my past lifelong career.


The source is referenced above