The Handmaid's Tale

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The Handmaid's Tale by Mind Map: The Handmaid's Tale

1. Setting

1.1. Novel takes place in

1.1.1. Republic of Gilead

1.1.1.1. Formed from military coup

1.1.1.2. Is a Christian theocracy

1.1.1.2.1. Because there is heavy emphasis on

1.1.1.3. Has declining birth rates

1.1.1.3.1. Due to pollution, chemicals etc.

1.1.1.4. Dystopian Society

1.1.1.4.1. Set in future United States

2. Plot

2.1. Daily life of Offred

2.1.1. Usually involves

2.1.1.1. Shopping trips with Ofglen

2.1.1.2. Ceremony every month with Commander and Serena Joy

2.1.1.3. Salvaging of woman who produced unbaby

2.1.1.3.1. Shows ruthlessness of society

2.1.1.4. Going to see The Wall

2.1.1.4.1. Where bodies of criminals are hanged

2.2. Significant Events

2.2.1. Doctor asks Offred if she wants to have the baby with him instead

2.2.1.1. Gives Offred a chance to not think too much about having a baby

2.2.1.1.1. But it against rules of Gilead

2.2.1.2. Because commander is infertile

2.2.2. Commander starts secretly playing Scrabble with Offred

2.2.2.1. Which is

2.2.2.1.1. Against rules because women are not allowed to read and write

2.2.3. Offred starts sexual relationship with Nick to maintain individuality/identity

2.2.3.1. Because

2.2.3.1.1. Small rebellious acts reminds her she can make own decision

2.2.4. Commander takes Offred to Jezebels

2.2.4.1. Where Offred meets Moira

2.2.5. Offred leaves household but fate is unknown

2.2.5.1. Shows the difficulty of actually escaping Gilead

3. Characters

3.1. Offred

3.1.1. Main character/ Protagonist

3.1.2. Handmaid

3.1.3. Seemingly submissive but actually rebels in small acts

3.1.3.1. Examples

3.1.3.1.1. Makes eye contact with Guardian

3.1.3.1.2. Has sexual relationship with Nick

3.1.3.1.3. Complies going to club with Commander

3.1.4. Longs for freedom and to reunite with family

3.2. Moira

3.2.1. Offred's Best Friend

3.2.1.1. Serves as hope for Offred

3.2.2. Rebellious and tenacious

3.2.2.1. Constantly tries to break out of Center

3.2.2.2. Never willing to concede freedom

3.2.3. Eventually broken down

3.2.3.1. Now works at Jezebel

3.2.3.1.1. Prostitute

3.3. Commander

3.3.1. Head of Household

3.3.1.1. Holds much power

3.3.2. Can be seen as naive

3.3.2.1. Because

3.3.2.1.1. He wants Offred's life to be bearable

3.3.3. Does not actually love wife

3.3.3.1. Has secret affaris with handmaids

3.3.3.1.1. Gets Offred to dress in naughty outfit and go to club

3.3.3.2. Shows passionless female-male relationships

3.4. Aunt Lydia

3.4.1. Dark mentor

3.4.2. Agent of Republic

3.4.2.1. Because...

3.4.2.1.1. Believes in Republic beliefs and oppression of woman is freedom from sexual abuse

3.4.3. Manipulative

3.4.3.1. Example

3.4.3.1.1. Made women believe that the beaten Guardian was a rapist

3.4.4. Not good at feeling for other people

3.4.5. Guides women to be "handmaids"

3.5. Serena Joy

3.5.1. Commander's Wife

3.5.2. Powerful female in Gilead

3.5.2.1. However is unhappy

3.5.2.1.1. Shows male-dominated society cannot bring females any happiness even to the most powerful women

3.6. Nick

3.6.1. Guardian (low level officer)

3.6.2. Has sexual relationship with Offred

3.6.2.1. Because

3.6.2.1.1. They want to conceive baby

3.7. Luke

3.7.1. Offred's Lover

3.7.2. Relationship with Offred contrasts passionless female-male relationships

4. Topics

4.1. Include

4.1.1. Freedom

4.1.1.1. More specifically

4.1.1.1.1. Lack of Freedom From Restrictive Rules

4.1.2. Feminism

4.1.2.1. More specifically

4.1.2.1.1. Mistreatment of Woman

4.1.3. Identity

4.1.3.1. Restriction in Identity

4.1.3.1.1. Examples

4.1.4. Power

4.1.4.1. Presence and Manipulation of Power

4.1.4.1.1. Seen in totalitarian government of Gilead

4.1.5. Conformity

4.1.5.1. Everyone must obey the ideals and rebels are squashed

4.1.5.1.1. Example

4.1.6. Sexuality

4.1.6.1. Government controls sex and sexuality

4.1.6.1.1. Lesbians deemed as criminals

4.1.6.1.2. No illicit sexual practice