- Summary of the novel
Republic of Gilead -The current Gilead republic which was initially the previous United States of America was the center stage of the novel. The republic of Gilead was being run by a fundamental economist in a scenario where the future of the state was quite undefined. In the novel Atwood incorporated a number of characters. Key among the characters included Moira , Commander , Luke , Serene Joy , Nick , Oflegen , the Narrators mother, Aunt Lydia , Janine , Narrators daughter, Rita , Prof. Maryann Crescent Moon , Aunt Elizabeth , Cora and Professor James Darcy. These characters play different role to ensure that themes of the play are well articulated and injected into the roots of our society. For instance Moira’s character always stemmed from the somber aspects of the story, she was always tearful. The commander displayed a character full of naivety. As for Luke was he appeared to be that awesome guy that existed in the society despite the poverty. Serene Joy, Nick, Oflegen and the mother to the narrator stipulated dilemma neither joyful nor sad, the immoral boy of the society, secret rebel, the figure head of the community respectively. These are just but few of the casts characters in the novel. The rest of the cast will be analyzed in depth as the narrator proceeds with her analysis. As the story commences the author unveils her previous condition as the story sets in. she goes ahead and gives an explanation of how she acquired her position in the then society.
The novel commences by the narrator being held by other women in an old gymnasium. As the story builds she goes ahead to work for a married commander. As she works there she gets exploited through sex as she is deemed to have it with him on a regular basis. The lack of freedom and exploitation that she experiences makes her flashback about the experience of her predecessor who killed herself. As the story unveils there are sequences of flashback that the narrator recalls. Her relationship especially with her daughter and her husband Luke even though she was the second wife. She further recalls her Moiré her friend, the Rebel. The narrator narrates that she lost her job as result of a coup which occurred in her country.
After the coup, women rights were violated and there was a crackdown on women. This was the reason why the narrator lost her job since women were not allowed to ow property or have a job. Offred tried to flee to Canada but she was captured and sent to Rachel and Leah Re-education Center. At this center, women were indoctrinated into Gilead’s ideology in preparation for becoming Handmaids. Offred is then assigned to a commander and from this point onwards her life starts becoming a routine. She makes trips to shopping with another Handmaid and being women they are not allowed to read or write. However, things start changing for Offred when she discovers the real personality of the commander. He is a person who wants to overthrow the Gilead government. The commander is infertile and wants Offred to sleep with Nick in order to bear him a child. In the night they are to sleep with Nick, she is taken out by the commander to a club where she meets Moira who was captured before she crossed borders to Canada.
Step Two – Reaction
The tale is a classic representation of the “rags to riches” adage but now in this case, it is ideology based. The once a great and vibrant nation has turned into a zombie setup. How is it even possible that in a span of time such detrimental and degrading changes can happen. The overall situation represents a sad state. The once free nation has now become a prison to the citizens, with women neither allowed to read nor have jobs but rather valued if their ovaries are viable. Would I ever have imagined such a transition would be possible, No! but then again, here we are!