The handmaids tale summary

It is set in a near-future New Englandin a strongly patriarchal, quasi-Christian, totalitarian state, known as Gilead, that has overthrown the United States government.

The central character and narrator is a woman named Offred, one of the group known as "handmaids," who are forcibly assigned to produce children for the "commanders" — the ruling class of men. The novel explores themes of subjugated women in a patriarchal society and the various means by which they resist and attempt to gain individuality and independence. The book has been adapted into a filma operaa television seriesand other media.

Ina sequel novel, The Testamentswas published.

the handmaids tale summary

After a staged attack that killed the President of the United States and most of Congressa radical political group called the "Sons of Jacob" uses quasi-Christian ideology to launch a revolution. The United States Constitution is suspended, newspapers are censored, and what was formerly the United States of America is changed into a military dictatorship known as the Republic of Gilead. The new regime moves quickly to consolidate its power, overtaking all other religious groups, including traditional Christian denominations.

In addition, the regime reorganizes society using a peculiar interpretation of some Old Testament ideas, and a new militarized, hierarchical model of social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes.

Above all, the biggest change is the severe limitation of people's rights, especially those of women, who are not allowed to read, write, own property, or handle money.

The Handmaid’s Tale Summary

Most significantly, women are deprived of control over their own reproductive functions. The story is told in first-person narration by a woman named Offred.

In this era of environmental pollution and radiation, she is one of the few remaining fertile women. Therefore, she is forcibly assigned to produce children for the "Commanders," the ruling class of men, and is known as a "Handmaid" based on the biblical story of Rachel and her handmaid Bilhah. Apart from Handmaids, other women are also classed socially and follow a strict dress code, ranked highest to lowest: the Commanders' Wives in blue; the Handmaids in red with white veils around their faces; the Aunts who train and indoctrinate the Handmaids in brown; the Marthas cooks and maids in green; Econowives the wives of lower-ranking men who handle everything in the domestic sphere in blue, red and green stripes; young, unmarried girls in white; and widows in black.

Offred details her life starting with her third assignment as a Handmaid to a Commander. Interspersed with her narratives of her present-day experiences are flashbacks of her life before and during the beginning of the revolution, including her failed attempt to escape to Canada with her husband and child, her indoctrination into life as a Handmaid by the Aunts, and the escape of her friend Moira from the indoctrination facility.

At her new home, she is treated poorly by the Commander's wife, a former Christian media personality named Serena Joy who supported women's domesticity and subordinate role well before Gilead was established. To Offred's surprise, the Commander requests to see her outside of the "Ceremony," a reproductive ritual obligatory for handmaids and intended to result in conception in the presence of his wife.

The two begin an illegal relationship where they play Scrabble and Offred is allowed to ask favors of him, whether in terms of information or material items. Finally, he gives her lingerie and takes her to a covert, government-run brothel called Jezebel's.

Offred unexpectedly encounters Moira there, with her will broken, and she learns that those who are found breaking the law are sent to the Colonies to clean up toxic waste or are allowed to work at Jezebel's as punishment. In the days between her visits to the Commander, Offred also learns from her shopping partner, a woman called Ofglen, of the Mayday resistance, an underground network working to overthrow the Republic of Gilead.

Not knowing of Offred's criminal acts with her husband, Serena begins to suspect that the Commander is infertile, and arranges for Offred to begin a covert sexual relationship with Nick, the Commander's personal servant. After their initial sexual encounter, Offred and Nick begin to meet on their own initiative as well, with Offred discovering that she enjoys these intimate moments despite memories of her husband, and shares potentially dangerous information about her past with him.In the mids near Boston, Massachusetts, a cabal of rightwing fundamentalists murders the U.

President and members of Congress, disenfranchises women by impounding their credit cards and denying them jobs and education, and sets up Gilead, a repressively conservative state bent on annihilating homosexuals, abortionists, and religious sects other than their own, and resettling Jews, old women, and nonwhite people in radioactive territory, known as the Colonies.

Because nuclear and biological warfare has polluted vast areas, the population suffers a sharp decline in viable births and a rise in birth defects. Consequently, infertile and aged females, as well as homosexuals, are dispatched as clean-up crews in the Colonies. Fertile women involved in illicit liaisons or second marriages are apprehended, indoctrinated, and parceled out to Commanders of the secret police as Handmaids.

These reduniformed breeders live in seclusion and virtual slavery and are deprived of their real names and labeled with a patronym of the men who control their lives-as in "Ofcharles" and "Ofwarren. Offred, the second wife of Luke and mother of a five-year-old daughter, attempts to escape to Canada.

She is apprehended and separated from her family. Her mother, a vocal feminist, disappears. Virtually alone and friendless, Offred is selected as a potential breeder and indoctrinated at the Rachel and Leah Re-Education Center.

The Handmaids-in-training share pared-down barracks — like quarters in a gymnasium surrounded by fences topped by barbed wire.


Reunited with her feisty, rebellious college pal Moira, Offred maintains spunk and individuality while pretending to follow the direction of sadistic armed matrons, particularly Aunt Lydia and Aunt Elizabeth. After lights out, Moira, Offred, and other Handmaids offer surreptitious support, survival tips, and bits of information. Like conspirators, they observe the patrolling Aunts and seize unguarded moments for normal behavior, including gripe sessions, food stolen from the cafeteria, and brief touches of hands between cots.

Janine, a compliant stooge, struggles so hard to adapt to the restrictive Handmaid lifestyle that she retreats into a blank stare, evidence of impending mental and emotional collapse. Because Moira pretends to suffer an attack of appendicitis, she is tortured by beatings with steel cables on her feet. Ultimately, she overpowers Aunt Elizabeth, strips her, and escapes in the Aunt's khaki uniform. Offred leaves the Center and joins the robotic cadre of Gilead's Handmaids.

After one failed attempt to conceive, she passes into the possession of a second official, Commander Fred, whose previous Handmaid hanged herself from the bedroom light fixture. Daily, Offred carries a basket to local markets to obtain fresh food, then returns to a boring incarceration in a cloistered room, relieved only by public prayer sessions, birthings, monthly medical exams, and executions.

Once a month she mates with Commander Fred in a pseudo-religious ritual requiring Bible reading, followed by copulation with the Commander in the presence of his aging Wife, Serena Joy. A spiteful, unhappy former gospel singer, Serena at first disdains Offred, then grows so despondent at their mutual barrenness that she arranges for Offred to conduct a secret sexual liaison with Nick, the family chauffeur.

Unknown to Serena, the Commander has been summoning Offred to late-night visits to his den for companionship, games of Scrabble, kisses, and gifts of hand lotion, fashion magazines, and information about the outside world. Offred divulges a Latin phrase that her predecessor scratched on the wall. The Commander translates it for her.

The Handmaid's Tale Summary

On one of her visits, the Commander presents her with borrowed finery — makeup, high heels, a sequined and feathered costume, and an evening cloak. Offred abandons her standard red outfit and, dressed in whorish frippery, accompanies him to Jezebel's, an illegal nightclub staffed by prostitutes and frequented by Gilead officials and Japanese and Arab businessmen.

Offred locates Moira among the prostitutes and pumps her for information. Moira relates her failed attempt to escape Gilead and reports seeing a documentary film that contained a glimpse of Offred's mother, now an Unwoman at a radioactive Colony.

On a late summer day, Serena confronts Offred with the garish sequined garment and accuses her of treachery.The narrator was in an old high school gymnasium. The Aunts patrolled at night, and men with guns guarded her and the other women from the outside. Now she is in another room, a normal bedroom. She wears a red dress, red gloves, and shoes. Her head and most of her face are covered with a stiff, white veil.

She goes shopping, taking with her tokens to be exchanged for food. The narrator wishes the other women, the "Marthas", were friendlier, and wonders why the Wife envies her. She remembers arriving in the house and recognizing the Wife from a televised Gospel Service she used to watch as a girl.

Next, the narrator walks to meet her partner, passing Nickthe chauffeur, in the yard. She waits on the corner until the other woman, her mirror image, arrives. They walk to the store, saying only proscribed things. Her partner's name, we learn, is Ofglen. They pass through a barrier, showing their passes. The narrator thinks about how much these men must miss women.

Around them walk "econowives", Marthas, and other "Handmaids". The narrator remembers what it was like before, when she had a job and money, and walked these streets with Luke.

The Handmaid's Tale

She remembers what each store used to be before. The two women exchange their tokens for food, and see a pregnant Handmaid, Ofwarren, whom the narrator recognizes as Janinefrom the re-training center.

the handmaids tale summary

After they depart, they are stopped by a Japanese trade delegation that wants to take their picture and ask them questions about their lives. The two women say no to the picture and keep their speech to a minimum.

They walk past the Church and the wall. There are six bodies hanging from it today. They are doctors, so none of them are Luke.

That night the narrator, whose name is Offredlies in bed and remembers things from her past.In it, readers are provided with a harrowingly realistic first-person account of a society ruled by religion, gender violence, and oppression. Under the guise of religion, Gilead control its citizens, from Handmaid to Martha and Wife in a very particular way. The main character, Offredtells her story through a series of flashbacks and remembrances that detail her marriage, her child, and her capture.

Young fertile women, such as Offred, have been rounded up and reeducated in the belief system of Gilead. Their single purpose in life is to have children for elite, infertile couples. She struggles to balance her desire to escape her new prison with her own safety and that of her daughter who she desperately wants to see. The protagonist of the story, Offred, is a young woman of child-bearing age who unlike most American women, is still fertile. Due to a series of chemical spills, childbirth rates are incredibly low.

Offered is a Handmaid, a woman assigned to have children for an elite infertile couple, in this case, Fred and Serena Joy. As a Handmaid she is forced to have sex with her Commander, in order to get pregnant, once a month in what is known as the Ceremony.

Her freedom is completely restricted. Offred tells the story of her life leading up to the role she is now forced to fill. She recalls an affair she had with a married man, Luke, his divorce from his first wife, and the child the two had together. She speaks about her activist mother and her best friend, Moira. Offred also describes her attempts to escape the military coup that led to the formation of Gilead, her capture and separation from her husband and child.

Offred describes the steps of the ceremony and the run-in she had with her doctor who offered to have sex with her in order to get her pregnant. She refuses, knowing the risks of such a proposition. In another break from her newfound routine, the Commander asks Offred to join him in his study one night. There, they play scrabble and he allows her to read old Vogue magazines, two things which are strictly prohibited.

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The Commander treats Offred like a child but still asks her to kiss him at the end of the evening. Despite repeated Ceremonies, Offred is still not pregnant suggesting that the Commander is infertile.

Therefore, against all rules, Serena tells Offred that she should sleep with Nick, their chauffeur, and gardener. Serena promises to give Offred a picture of her daughter in return for doing so.The United States has fallen, overthrown by a theocratic regime, founded on rigid Christian principles and the disempowerment of women, which has installed a new nation called Gilead in its place.

The novel begins with Offredthe first-person narrator, remembering her restricted life at the Rachel and Leah Center, a training camp for Handmaids in an old high school. The scene changes to her current residence, where she lives with a Commander and his wife, Serena Joy. Offred puts on a red uniform and goes on a shopping trip with Ofglenand afterwards they stop by the Wall to look at the bodies of recently executed men.

In the evening, Offred lies in bed. She remembers her spunky friend Moiraher activist motherand the loss of her daughter and her husband, Luke. She thinks about the previous Handmaid who left a Latin message scratched into the wall. She describes her trip to the doctor on the previous day. The doctor suggested that her Commander might be sterile and offers to have sex with her.

Though her life depends on getting pregnant, Offred refused. She takes a bath and thinks about her daughter and the hysterical Handmaid Janine. After her bath, she and the rest of the members of the household gather to listen to the Commander read the bible.

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Afterwards, Offred sneaks downstairs in a rebellious gesture and runs into Nickwho gives her a message from the Commander to meet the following night. In the evening she sees the Commander, who surprisingly only wants to play Scrabble and get a chaste kiss.

Months pass.

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Offred and the Commander meet often, and the Ceremony becomes more fraught for Offred now that she and the Commander know each other. After a shopping trip one day, Serena Joy tells Offred to have sex with Nick in an effort to get pregnant, and Offred agrees. Offred and Ofglen attend a Prayvaganza, celebrating arranged marriages. Afterward, Serena Joy shows Offred a photo of her daughter.

Offred spots Moira across the room, and they meet in the bathroom. Moira reveals that she spent many months on the Underground Femaleroad before she was captured. Offred and the Commander get a room and have sex, and Offred has to fake arousal. Time passes, and Offred sees Nick often.

The following day, a new Handmaid comes for the shopping trip with Offred. She says that the old Ofglen committed suicide when the Eyes—the Gilead secret police—came to get her.

When Offred returns home after shopping, Serena Joy confronts her with the skimpy outfit and threatens to punish her. Offred goes to her room and sees the Eyes coming for her. It is revealed that researchers may have discovered who the Commander was, but no one knows what happened to Offred. Plot Summary.Le Drama (8) 4. Enterprise March (7) Hard to assess with minimal form to go by.

WICKED EXPRESS couldn't hold on and just missed last start at Sunshine Coast, big chance. LE DRAMA first-up after 17 week break, place hope. Tai Chi Spirit (6) 6. Silver Fox (1) 5. Keoson (2) Stacks of chances in a deep race. CORNFORTH just missed as favourite last start at Ipswich and has five placings from six runs this prep, tough to beat. TAI CHI SPIRIT placed at Mornington in only second-up attempt but finished six lengths off the winner last start at Sunshine Coast when first up, chance to place.

the handmaids tale summary

SILVER FOX resumes after a 22 week spell. Will come to hand quickly and ran second when last first-up at Sunshine Coast, capable of getting into the money. Comes to hand quickly and placed at Sunshine Coast when last first-up, not the worst. Takes Time (7) Scratched 8. Himalayan Salt (6) Scratched 4. Grinch (8) ScratchedWITNESS faded to finish on the winners' heels last start at Ipswich on a soft track and has two placings from three runs this prep, genuine contender.

TAKES TIME likes a heavier track and a winner at first outing this prep, could upset. HIMALAYAN SALT faded to finish on the winners' heels last start at Rockhampton and won once this prep at Rockhampton four runs back, don't treat lightly. GRINCH surprised punters to win at long odds at only start at Gold Coast, each-way claims. Blonde By Choice (2) 14.

Vivi Granda (16) 11. Calisto (8) Hard to see anything beating the favourite. BRICKHALL just missed when heavily backed last start at Sunshine Coast and has placed in two attempts this campaign, big chance. BLONDE BY CHOICE drops in weight and is a strong finisher, place best.

VIVI GRANDA drops 1. CALISTO narrowly beaten at long odds last start at Sunshine Coast and has two placings from four runs this prep, chance to place. Jennifer Juniper (7) Scratched 4. Ragazzo Del Corsa (4) 6.But you're entering the contest based on someone else's efforts to find it, and by doing so diminish their chances. So consider the ethics before entering just to flog. Check for exclusions and travel requirements in the small print. If a comp means taking a midweek mini-break when you've no holiday allowance left, move on.

Lots of people are lazy, so anything involving a smidgeon of extra effort attracts fewer contestants. Need to pen a poem, complete a tie-breaker or snap a photo. You'll also stand a better chance with highly localised competitions, such as a local paper offering tickets to a nearby theatre. A host of competitions require tie-breaker slogans. If you're a wordsmith, this can be an easy way to boost your chances. Keep 'em short and punchy.

Always read through the company's own marketing literature. It has often spent time developing the brand, and will want something that fits it, so that's your clue. To help spark ideas, Winspiration lists past winning slogans. Also use Rhymezone to generate rhymes at the click of a button. The OneAcross site lets you search for answers to crosswords. For example, did you know that Martin Lewis is "Mini Wastrel".

Of course, there's also good old Google and Wikipedia for quiz questions. A free add-on for web browser Firefox, Split Panel lets you split browser windows in half, so you can see two web pages at once. This way, you can copy and paste answers at speed.

Installing it is simple. If you don't already have Firefox, head to mozilla. Then go to Split Panel and hit the 'add to Firefox' button on the left. Follow the prompts and restart Firefox. Clever auto-fill tools for speedy entries Next, take a technological grip so you can enter more contests, but spend far less time doing it. Many top compers enter 100 online competitions a day by exploiting tools and tricks to turbo-charge their competition-entering.

Then when you want to fill in a form, just highlight the info and copy and paste it into the boxes. To take it up a notch, most web browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, feature an option to remember your details and fill them in automatically. So next time you start to enter the same thing, type the first few letters and suggestions should appear.

The Handmaid's Tale - Season 1 RECAP!!!

This can be a security risk, so avoid on shared computers. Open Chrome, then at the top right choose 'Settings' from the drop-down menu. At the bottom of the screen click on 'Advanced'. Under 'Passwords and forms', select ' Autofill settings'. Google Chrome has a guide to its automatic form-filling feature.

Click on 'Preferences', which is located in the top right hand corner of your screen near the Apple icon, then click on 'Auto-fill'. To turn AutoFill off or on, select the information you want to include in AutoFill and deselect the rest.

This doesn't always fill out forms correctly first time, so try downloading the Autofill Forms add-on, which is more sophisticated. Go to Tools, then Internet Options, click the Content tab and then AutoComplete 'Settings'. Put a tick in the box to select AutoComplete for forms. While you can set browsers to remember basic information such as names and addresses, they aren't that intelligent and often put the wrong info in fields.

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