The Handmaid’s Tale, Sections V-VIII, Discussion 1

Sorry about slacking on the questions on Monday! Just when you think life can’t get any crazier, it does. I’m back on track now, though!

I only have a few questions this week:

In Chapter 17, why do you think Offred wanted to steal something?

Also in Chapter 17, Offred says she wants ‘to be held and told my name.’ Then in Chapter 18 Offred says, ‘…nobody dies from a lack of sex. It’s a lack of love we die from.’ What do you think the government gained by giving everyone new names and apparently outlawing touching?

What do you think of the mating ritual? At first I thought how humiliating that must be for Offred, but then I thought that it must be doubly humiliating for the Commander and Serena Joy. What is the purpose of mating this way?

If you have questions you want to ask, or observations you want to make outside of the questions I’ve posed, please don’t hesitate!