Quote Analysis from The Handmaids Tale:
Chapter 19: “Who is it?... I revise that: within limits.”
“Who is it?” I say to the woman next to me; into her ear, or where her ear must be under the white headdress. I almost have to shout, the noise is so loud. “Ofwarren,” she shouts back. Impulsively she grabs my hand, squeezes it, as we lurch around the corner; she turns to me and I see her face, there are tears running down her cheeks, but tears of what? Envy, disappointment? But no, she’s laughing, she throws her arms around me, I’ve never seen her before, she hugs me, she has large breasts, under the red habit, she wipes her sleeve across her face. On this day we can do anything we want. I revise that: within limits.”
The quote brings into perspective the theme of rebellion especially against traditional stereotypes. Although the woman next to the persona is a nun, she has the freedom of expressing her feelings. She freely hugs the persona, an action that could have been considered inappropriate in the puritan era. The expression "On this day we can do anything we want" summarizes the rebellious freedom in the quote.