The fresh, narrated by Offred, alternates between text describing her confront life and expository sections in which she recalls her past. Offred ’ s recollections reveal that she was the daughter of a feminist activist who had chosen to be a single mother. Before the advent of the theocratic government, the supporter attended university and had a near friend named Moira. Offred became involved with a married homo, Luke, and finally she and Luke wed and had a daughter. Following a military coup d’etat in which the president of the united states and most members of Congress were killed, the nation became the Republic of Gilead. One day the supporter was fired from her job at the library because women were no long permitted to work. That evening she learned that women were besides not allowed to have money, and her deposit bill had been transferred to Luke. finally, Luke, the protagonist, and their daughter tried to flee to Canada but were caught, and she was sent to a reeducation concentrate for indoctrination in preparation for becoming a Handmaid. Moira was besides at the reeducation center, but she escaped .
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All women are assigned to assorted classes : the chaste childless Wives of the Commanders ; the housework Marthas ; and the generative Handmaids, who turn their young over to the Wives and are called by the names of their put Commanders. Ranked under the Commanders are Guardians, who have police powers, and the club is permeated with politics spies called Eyes. Those who can not conform are sent to the Colonies, and people of color ( Children of Ham ) are resettled .
Offred begins her third base appointment as a Handmaid, having been unsuccessful in her previous two. Fred is Offred ’ mho current Commander—her diagnose means “ of Fred ” —and his Wife is Serena Joy, a former singer on a televangelist program. Offred is required to go grocery shop in the company of the neighbor Handmaid, Ofglen. As they return, they pass the Wall, where the bodies of run prisoners are displayed. One day, Offred notices a give voice carved into the closet shock : “ Nolite ti bastardes carborundorum. ” On Offred ’ s monthly visit to the sophisticate, he suggests that the Commander may be sterile ( the government does not recognize that men can be aseptic ) and that he could impregnate her. Frightened, she declines. At family, she is required to attend the monthly ceremony : after the Commander reads the Bible to the family, Offred must lie between Serena Joy ’ s legs while Serena Joy clasps her hands as the Commander has sex with her. Later that night, Offred sneaks downstairs, hoping to steal a bloom, and finds Nick, a defender and the Commander ’ second drive around, besides in the house ; he tells her that the Commander wants her to go to his office the follow nox.
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When one of the Handmaids gives birth, all the other Handmaids attend her ; a complex ritual indicate that the baby truly belongs to a Wife accompanies the parturition march. When Offred presents herself in the Commander ’ sulfur agency, she is storm to find that he wishes to play Scrabble, even though women are forbidden to read. The night meetings continue, and Offred finds the monthly Ceremony uncomfortable now that she has a personal relationship with the Commander. One day Ofglen reveals to Offred that she is a extremity of an underground resistance movement. From the Commander, Offred learns that the phrase on the closet floor means “ Don ’ thymine let the bastards grind you down ” and that the Handmaid who carved it had hanged herself after Serena Joy learned of her secret liaisons with the Commander. Weeks late, Serena Joy perilously arranges for Offred to have sex with Nick in hopes that Offred will conceive ; after that allotment, she and Nick continue with an affair. One nox the Commander requires Offred to don a aphrodisiac costume and takes her out to an unofficially permitted sex club, where Offred sees Moira working as a prostitute .
subsequently, all the women are required to attend a beast populace performance, and Ofglen tells Offred that one of those killed was a extremity of the underground. The following shop day, a different Handmaid identifies herself as Ofglen ; the fresh Ofglen tells Offred that the honest-to-god one hanged herself before she could be arrested. When Offred returns home she finds that Serena Joy has discovered the costume that she wore to the arouse club. A vanguard of the Eyes comes to arrest Offred, but Nick tells her that the Eyes are in truth resistance fighters. The fib ends with Offred being taken away to an uncertain destine. An epilogue then explains that the events of the fib, found on magnetic tape cassettes, are being discussed as character of a symposium on Gileadean Studies in 2195 and hints that a more equitable club followed the Gileadean theocracy.
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