The Handmaid’s Tale, Sections IX – X, Discussion 1

After the first time Offred plays Scrabble with the Commander, she says, “To be asked to play Scrabble, instead, as if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.” Why would playing a game seem kinky when they’ve only recently copulated in a most bizarre way?

Isn’t it interesting that the way they try to have babies seems really awkward, but it’s not until Offred gets to know the Commander that she becomes uncomfortable? “He was no longer a thing to me. That was the problem….It complicates.”

What does it say about this society that they have machines that pray for them?

In Chapter 28 we see how the Constitution is taken away. Why didn’t people protest more? What similarities can you draw to things going on today? (We’ve briefly talked about this, such as how we’ve changed the procedure to board an airplane, but can you think of anything else?)