The Handmaid's Tale Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the ritual called when the women confess sexual ‘sins’ to one another?

2. Where did Moira make her escape attempt in Chapter 8?

3. Where did Moira leave Aunt Elizabeth in Chapter 8?

4. What do the Japanese want from the narrator in Chapter 2?

5. How long was Offred at the center before Moira arrived?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the women steal something for Moira at the center?

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

3. Why is the doctor’s offer to Offred in Chapter 4 tempting?

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

5. In Chapter 7, where does Offred think that Luke really is?

6. What is carved on Offred’s desk at the center? Why is this significant?

7. How does the Commander act before and during the ceremony in Chapter 6?

8. Why does Offred go back to the sitting room later that evening in Chapter 6?

9. What tone do the women take with Janine?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Offred’s daughter is one of the most important people in her life, though they are no longer together. Describe what Offred’s daughter’s life might be like at the moment. How are children important in Gilead, and what is Offred’s daughter’s most likely fate?

Essay Topic 2

Every other chapter in the book is entitled “Night”. Why might this be the case? How is Night significant for Offred, and what is it placed in contrast to?

Essay Topic 3

Though a young society, Gilead already has a number of its own rituals. Pick one ritual or ceremony and describe any links to real-world events that you can find. What roots did Gilead draw upon in inventing this ceremony? What is its social function and significance?

(see the answer keys)

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