The Handmaid's Tale Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why is the narrator in the setting at the opening of the novel?

The narrator is in training to become a Handmaiden, along with numerous other women, in the opening of the novel.

2. Why is it significant that the women discuss their names at the beginning of the novel?

It is significant that the women discuss their names at the beginning of the novel because, as Handmaidens, they have to give up their former identities, including their names.

3. Why don’t the Aunts have guns?

The Aunts do not have guns because they are still women, so this is still considered dangerous.

4. Who from the first chapter appears again later in the novel?

Both Moira and Janine reappear later in the novel.

5. How does the narrator feel about the Commander’s House in Chapter 2? Describe her surroundings as well as her reactions to them.

The narrator thinks the Commander's House is nice, for wealthy people, but her room is very sterile, which is, of course, upsetting.

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