Margaret Atwood [ — ]: Summary and Analysis of Chapters Summary and Analysis of Part 3, Chapters
The new regime, the Republic of Gilead, moves quickly to consolidate its power, including overtaking all pre-existing religious groups, including traditional Christian denominations, and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical model of Old Testament -inspired social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes.
For example, women are forbidden to read, and anyone caught in homosexual acts would be hanged for "gender treachery". The story is told in the first person by a woman called Offred. The character is one of a class of women with healthy reproductive systems, in an era of declining birth rates owing to increasing infertility.
These women are forcibly assigned to produce children for the ruling class and are known as "handmaids", based on the biblical story of Rachel and her handmaid Bilhah. Offred describes her life during her third assignment as a handmaid, in this case to Fred Waterford referred to as "The Commander".
Interspersed with her narratives of her present-day experiences are flashback discussions of her life from before and during the beginning of the revolution, when she finds she has lost all autonomy to her husband, their failed attempt to escape to Canada, and finally her indoctrination into life as a handmaid by government-trained women called "Aunts".
The women are physically segregated by colour of clothing—blue, red, green, striped and white—to signify social class and assigned position, ranked highest to lowest.
Striped clothing is for all other women called "Econowives" who essentially do everything in the domestic sphere. Young, unmarried girls are dressed in white. The Commander is a high-ranking official in Gilead. Although his contact with Offred is supposed to be limited to "the ceremony", a ritual of rape intended to result in conception and at which his wife is present, he begins an illegal relationship with Offred.
The room is filled with books and is considered a private place for the man of the house. During these meetings, he tries to earn her trust by talking and playing board games such as Scrabble with her.
He also lets and watches her read, another offense, as women are not permitted to read and write. The Commander offers her contraband products, such as old s fashion magazines and cosmetics. The women in the brothels are allowed alcohol and drugs, a freedom Offred notes. Serena is clearly bored and unhappy—that she was taken at her word, Offred assumes—and hates sharing her husband with a handmaid.
In return, Serena Joy gives her news of her daughter and a recent photo.
Offred has not seen her child since she and her family were captured trying to escape Gilead. Offred discovers she enjoys sex with him, despite her indoctrination and her memories of her husband.
She shares potentially dangerous information about her past with him. Through her shopping partner, a woman called Ofglen, Offred learns of the Mayday resistance, an underground network working to overthrow the Republic of Gilead.
As the novel concludes, Offred tells Nick that she thinks she is pregnant. Shortly afterwards, she is taken away by men wearing the uniform of the secret police, the Eyes of God, known informally as "the Eyes".
As she is led to a waiting van, Nick tells her to trust him and go with the men. It is unclear whether the men are actually Eyes, or members of the Mayday resistance. Offred is unsure if Nick is a member of Mayday or an Eye posing as one, and is unsure if leaving will result in her escape or her capture.
She enters the van with her future uncertain.
The novel concludes with a metafictional epilogue that explains that the events of the novel occurred shortly after the beginning of what is called "the Gilead Period".The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood Context Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 18, She published her first book of poetry .
The Handmaid’s Tale shows the form that oppression takes for women, Atwood is arguing, but it could just as easily look at how oppression looks for a gay man, or a poor man.”.
Nov 19, · The Handmaid’s Tale is often mistaken as a story about Christianity, despite the Atwood’s denial in the forward in the latest edition. This is due in part because of the frequent appeals to scripture used by the Aunts and Commanders to justify the subjugation of the handmaids.
Apr 25, · As laid out in Margaret Atwood's novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the events leading to America’s transformation into the Christian fundamentalist-governed Gilead are believable enough. First. A year ago, this writer reviewed Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same title, as serialized on the online streaming service Hulu.
Much discussion of the Handmaid's Tale has centred on whether or not it is a feminist book. Women have found new relevance in the novel which recently returned to .