Could a place like Gilead exist in the world today?


Create a post of a minimum of 250 words that answers the following questions. Number your responses but do not copy the questions.

1. When describing the repurposed school where she was first taken after the fall of the US government, Offred says, “Dances would have been held there; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail…” Look up the definition of “palimpsest.” Why do you think Atwood chose this word specifically? What might it have to do with the story world so far?
2. Could a place like Gilead exist in the world today? Does it? How does it feel to read about a theocracy in which Christianity is the state religion?

3. Choose one passage in these chapters in which Offred pauses to think about language: the meaning or spelling of a word and its usage. Describe the passage you chose and what you think Atwood is doing in it.

4. Briefly search the Biblical story of Leah, Rachel, and Bilhah that the Commander reads aloud at the beginning of the Ceremony. Why does the Commander need to read it before having sex with Offred? Why does he have to knock before entering the living room? What does it matter?

5. Offred claims that sex with the Commander is not rape, because she has made a choice. What do you think about this?
6. It will become more apparent as we read further that Gilead’s handmaid system is a response to a dramatic, global drop in fertility and birth rates. Do you think a future crisis like this would justify actions by the government to control reproduction?
7. What is one question you have about Chapters 1-18?


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