Required Reading Link Pages 1-66
Writing in Context: The End of the 20th Century
Directions: Directions: Use this document to write your answers to the guiding “Reader Response” questions that have been posed here about each of your readings. Then, use these responses to help you formulate your response to the Quizzes.
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
1. What type of woman works at Jezebel’s?
a. What were some of their professions before the Gilead regime took over?
b. How do their previous professions and positions in life relate to their choice of Jezebel’s over, say, being a handmaid? Use Moira’s discussion with Offred to help you here.
2. How does Offred feel about being with the Commander at Jezebel’s?
a. How does he think she will feel? How do you know? Explain your answer?
b. Does he expect her to respond sexually to him? What assumptions does he make about her reactions?
3. What does Jezebel’s represent?
a. How does it reflect the hypocrisy of the Gilead regime?
4. For what do the men who frequent Jezebel’s go there?
a. Is it only sex? If not, what is it?
i. What does their “need” reveal about the failures of Gilead?
5. Why does Serena Joy decide for Offred to meet with Nick?
a. What do we learn about the Commander here?
b. Why does the commander continue to receive Handmaids?
6. Why do you think we receive two different versions of Offred’s first meeting with Nick?
a. Where else in the text suggests there is more than one version of her story?
b. Why might she do this?
c. What aspect of memory does this shift in perception represent? Explain.
7. What do you make of Offred and Nick’s continued meetings?
a. Is it lust, love, companionship, what?
b. Why would both take such a risk?
c. What do their meetings provide them that they cannot have or get in their “normal” lives in Gilead?
8. Why does Nick save Offred?
a. What do his actions reveal about him?
9. What do the Historical notes add to the text?
a. Consider where the conference occurs. Why is this important?
b. Do they answer any questions, or do they create more?
10. According to what you find in/learn from the Historical notes, have times changed so much from the days of Gilead to the time of the historical notes?
a. Why or why not?
b. What has changed, what has remained the same?
c. Why do you think Gilead ended?