The Handmaid’s Tale, Sections I-IV, Discussion 1

Welcome! I hope you all are enjoying The Handmaid’s Tale. I was a little worried that my love for it was an anomaly, but I read this first section in one sitting (I had to empty the bath and add hotter water, but I did it!), which is a big achievement for me these days! I’m really looking forward to discussing this. I don’t think a page went by that I didn’t mark something.

These first few questions come from Jeanne from Necromancy Never Pays. She’s taught this book quite a few times and had some great suggestions for questions.

Aunt Lydia says, “In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to.  Now you are being given freedom from.” (24).  Freedom from what?

Why didn’t people protest more when their rights were taken away?

Why does Offred tell the interpreter for the group of Japanese tourists that she is very happy as a handmaid?

Is any symbolism jumping out at you yet?

Did anyone else look up ‘Nolite te bastardes carborundorum’? What do you think it means?

What did you think of the scene where the mom takes the daughter to the book burning for the pornography? Is it ever okay to censor?

More questions will be forthcoming on Thursday, August 26th.