Summary

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood tells the story of Offred, whose real name we do not know. She is a woman in her early thirties who is living under the authoritarian Christian regime of Gilead in what used to be the United States of America. 

Offred is forced to work as a “Handmaid” for a high-ranking official (the Commander) and his wife Serena Joy. Because there is widespread infertility in Gilead and a rapidly declining birth rate, every month, Offred is forced to have sex with the Commander in the hope that she will get pregnant Before the Gilead regime took over, Offred worked in a library and lived with her husband Luke and their daughter. She does not know where either Luke or her daughter are now. 

When the story begins, she is five weeks into her posting to the Commander’s house. She goes shopping with another Handmaid, Ofglen, and visits the Wall, where the bodies of traitors are hung. She also visits a doctor, who suggests he could impregnate her, but she refuses. 

That night, she goes through the “ce...

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