Day 1

The Handmaid's Tale Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    What is a Handmaid's function? What are her responsibilities?

    Students should be able to deduce from context clues just what it is that the narrator is supposed to do, while living in the household of the Commander. We know that it is her responsibility to go shopping, but that is clearly not her main job. We know that the Marthas consider the Handmaid's job shameful, and that the Commander's Wife hates and resents her. Eventually, when Offred's doctor offers to impregnate her, we learn that she must bear a child or be sent to the Colonies: a slow death by hard labor and radiation. The job of a Handmaid is to have sex with a Commander and give birth to his child.

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