The Handmaid ‘s Tale is set in Republic of Gilead in Cambridge, MA. The narrator/protagonist is Offred she is a handmaid for the Commander and his wife Serena Joy. Offred like other handmaids in the Republic of Gilead main obligation is to bare a child for the couples they are assigned to.
Exposition: The novel begins with a nameless narrator who will later be revealed as the protagonist Offred. The book opens with Offred vividly describing a room. The room is an old gymnasium, although, it’s a gym it’s similar to a prison Offred describes the building that the Gym is located “The guards weren ‘t allowed inside the building except when called, and we weren ‘t allowed out, except for our walks, twice daily, two by two around the football field, which was enclosed now by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire” (Atwood 4). The gym is where several women are confined in who like Offred will be become handmaids is filled with despair. Offred and the women aren’t allowed to talk only read lips, the women are It is one of the most well put together novels, especially dystopian novels I’ve ever read. The tone is dark and gloomy there is no happiness in this novel, but that is what I imagine a totalitarian government to be like. In spite of the novel being frightening to me, it was thought-provoking. After reading the first couple of pages I needed to take a break and examine society and the way women are treated. The handmaids were basically just ovaries, not humans, and those who didn’t have “viable ovaries” were disposed of. As scary as it seems to live in such a society, the reality is some women are actually living like this. Women worth is typically based on if she has children or if she has a husband, especially one in high ranks(wives in the novel). However, I must say The Handmaid ‘s Tale, setting Republic of Gilead made me appreciate my freedom(privilege) as an American