Chapter 1 -- training in a place which used to be a gym.
Chapter 2 -- Offred in her own
room, preparing to go shopping, seeing two Marthas
(Rita and Cora; Martha,
devoted herself to housework while her sister Mary sat and listened to
III. Night --
"The night is my time out. Where should I go?" p. 49
Chapter 3 -- Offred goes out into the
garden, meets the commander's Wife (Serena Joy)
Chapter 4 -- Offred
goes out of the gate into the driveway, meets the Guardian Nick, joins
Offglen and then goes past the gate guarded by two Guardian
of the Faith.
Chapter 5 -- Out of the Commanders compound and "doubled," Offred
goes on the sidewalk and goes past or to several stores: Lilies
of the Field, Milk and Honey, and All Flesh.
They also meet some Japanese tourists.
Chapter 6 -- the Wall. "Luke
wasn't a doctor. Isn't"?
Chapter 7 -- memories of the past: Moira,
her mother, being arrested.
IV. Waiting Room -- "I wait. I
compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes
a speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born."
Chapter 8 -- Narrative resumes. Three new bodies on the
Wall. They go back to the commander's compound, parting with Ofglen's
words "Mayday" as possibly a secret code. Aunt Lydia's lecture
on how the handmaids should treat the Wives (62-63). Offred
gives Marthas what she bought.
The commander's brief approach and departure.
Chapter 9 -- "My room." Offred
is in her room, waiting and remembering Luke
and their past relationship. Sees the
sign "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum" and think of the woman who leaves
Chapter10 -- Memories. Moira and Aunt
Chapter 11 -- (yesterday) at the doctor's office
Chapter 12 -- bathroom; Memories of Luke and
their daughter; supper.
Chapter 13 -- waiting; Memories: Moira
and Offred in the training in the gym; reams of escape scene (with Luke
and the daughter). The bells
wakes her up: "Of all the dreams this is the worst."
Chapter 14 -- The household meet in the sitting room, waiting
for the commander and watching news. Memories: escape
Chapter 15 -- The commander comes, reads the bible and is watched by
the others. Moira. "Nolite
te bastardes carborundorum"
Chapter 16 -- The ceremony.
Chapter 17 -- Offred back
in her room, "buttering" herself, repeating her name and wating to steal
something. Nick comesto
Chapter 18 -- Memories: Luke and
their daughter. Hope.
VIII. Birth Day
Chapter 19 -- Dream.
Chapter 20 -- Birthing ritual. Memories:
Red Center and Offred's young mother
Chapter 21 -- Birthing ritual. Unwoman"
v.s. a "women's culture"
Chapter 22 -- Back to her room. Moira.
Chapter 23 -- "All of this is reconstruction." Offred
goes to the study. Plays scrabble with the Commander.
Chapter 24 -- Back to her room. "What I need is
perspective." Memories: documentary about
the death camp commander's mistress
X. Soul Scrolls
Chapter 25 -- visiting the commander at night.
provided with magazines and lotion.
Chapter 26 -- The Ceremony--changed.
Chapter 27 -- Walking with Ofglend on the summer street.
Memories: the ice cream store; her daughter.
The Soul Scroll machines. Ofglen: "You can join us."
A black van with two Eyes.
Chapter 28 -- Memories: Luke and
Moira; her mother-- against porn and for abortion; losing her job;
Chapter 29 -- In the Commander's office. The meaning of
"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum": "Don't
let the bastard grind you down." The previous Handmaid who killed
Chapter 30 -- satire of a traditional Jewish prayer for men
which thanks God for not having made them women
One king, Ahab of "Israel" (the Northern Kingdom), had a wife, Jezebel
, who worshipped the "gods" Baal (1 Kings 16:29-33) or Baalzebub and Asherah.
Jezebel tried to kill the Lord's prophets and encouraged Ahab to do evil.
Elijah, a prophet, . . .told
King Ahab that the dogs would devour Queen Jezebel's body. (1 Kings 21:23).
Chapter 31 -- Walking with Ofglen to the shops
and then the Wall. Serena Joy's offer of the picture to Offred.
"Maybe he can't. . . .Maybe you should try it another way."
Chapter 32 -- In the Commander's office. "You can't make an omelette
without breaking eggs"
Chapter 33 -- Prayerganza. Janine's miscarriage.
Chapter 34 -- Prayerganza. Ofglen: "find out (about
the Commander) and tell us."
Chapter 35 -- Offred's comments on love; the daughter's photo.
Chapter 36 -- Jezebel
Chapter 37 -- Jezebel
Chapter 39 -- Moira working at Jezebel
Chapter 40 -- Nick
Chapter 41 --Offred goes back to Nick,
time after time.
Chapter 42 -- Salvaging.
Chapter 43 -- Salvaging.
Chapter 44 -- Ofglen disappears. Offred
faces the new treacherous Ofglen. "She hanged herself."
Chapter 45 -- "She has died that I may live." Serena finds
out about Offred and the Commander.
Chapter 46 --the black van comes...
Historical Notes on The Handmaid's Tale
Professor Pieixoto about the discovery of "The Handmaid's