21st February 2018

The Handmaids Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel set in the future where the United States has become the Republic of Gilead, a heavily religious based society, dictating there way of life from the holy book. The republic has incredibly low birth rates and high infant mortality rates. Due to his fertile women are forced to serve the commanders of gilead and engage in monthly ‘ceremonies’ when the handmaids and the commander try to create a child, with the baron wife watching while the ‘ceremony’ takes place.


The handmaid’s are supposedly highly valued member of society, however, they can only leave the house one a day to buy groceries for the Martha’s ( older barren women who cook and look after the house). The handmaids however are not allowed to be called by their given names, instead they are called the name of the commander they are serving. Our main protagonist is named offred, of- fred the name of her commander.  Offred’s freedom, like the freedom of all women, is completely restricted. The eyes gilead’s police force watch and monitor every action and remove people not conforming to society, to people who do not fit into the counties fundamental values- such as gay people doctors who provided birth control and abortions.

Offred tells the story to us through the present telling of her life in the restrictive society and flashbacks to her previous life before with her husband and child. Telling us the story of how the US became Gilead and also how Gilead is like now.

However the society is not perfect with the handmaid’s having an underground resistance called mayday trying to fight back against the system. Along with the commander breaking the law spending time with Offred which is a very strict law being broken.There is a very dishonest unlying theme in the novel another appearance of this is when Serena Joy makes offred have sex with Nick after she fears the command is sterile as offered in not getting pregnant

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