THT: Week 3 P. 184-270


Continuing to spend her nights with the Commander and her days reflecting on the past, Offred finally fills us in to the rise of Gilead. In the midst of her mostly solitary life, however, it would seem that Offred has finally found a friend in Ofglen, her twin and chaperone- who reveals the existence of an underground resistance movement. Is it possible that this might be Offred's opportunity to escape?

What I Liked:

  • Ofglen: I've been waiting for this big reveal for a while now, because, as with any dystopian novel, the resistance is bound to be a big plot point. We don't get a lot of information about Ofglen and her past, but what we get is very intriguing, and it's interesting to see such an empowered person in the position of Handmaid.
  • The Takeover: Offred's description of the take over was breathtaking, terrifying, and heartbreaking. While a lot of critics said that Gilead's extreme society was unbelievable in how it came about, I found this very believable. It is also very relevant, I thought, to the political climate we have today. It definitely terrified me, and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. If you haven't read it yet, you definitely have something to look forward to and dread on page 200.
  • Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down: This has got to be the best literary quote ever! By the time this discussion is posted I will have a tattoo of it going down my spine. It's probably one of the my favorite literary quotes because of how empowering and relevant it is, and the latin phrase looks and sounds pretty awesome: "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum"

What I Didn't Like

  • Luke's Response: When Offred reveals how apathetic Luke originally was to the beginning of the take over it was kind of a disappointing moment. It's a moment where we get a little more information of his character without the context of Offred missing him or wondering whether or not he is alive. In the end, I think he definitely makes up for it, but it's frustrating seeing his lack of motivation in the beginning because he isn't directly affected.
  • The poor cat: I love cats, and whenever I think of what I would do in a zombie apocalypse it's always my animals that give me the most anxiety. This part definitely made me uncomfortable and just sad. In the midst of a very dark plot, this was heartbreaking to read.

Quotes of the Week

" must have an opinion. About what? I say. what we've done...he knows what i think, all right. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, is what he says. we thought we could do better. better? i say, in a small voice. how can he think this is better? better never means better for everyone, he says. it always means worse, for some," (244).
"start them soon is the policy, there's not a moment to be lost - still they'll remember. and the ones after them will, for three or four or five years; but after that they won't. they'll always have been in white, in groups of girls; they'll always have been silent," (253).

Discussion Questions

  1. This book was written in the 1980s, but it still feels painfully relevant today. What are some correlations you see between the political climate in the novel and our society today?
  2. What future do you think Gilead has? Will it be long lasting or will it collapse and crumble?
  3. The scene describing the collapse is quite powerful. What affect did it have on you?
  4. Is there anything else you wanted to bring up? Discuss it in the comments!
Created By
Jessi Young

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