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. How long is a Handmaid’s posting?

2. What animal does Offred compare herself to when taking a nap?

3. What kind of flower does Offred smell in Chapter 6?

4. How many babies are currently born disfigured, according to Chapter 8?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Offred and the other women take naps at the center?

2. What is wrong with how Offred kisses the Commander, in his view?

3. Why don’t the Aunts have guns?

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

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

6. What is the narrator’s attitude towards her audience, at the end of Chapter 3?

7. What happened to Serena Joy that was traumatic in her earlier life?

8. What is the purpose of the exercises that Offred does?

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

10. What does Offred do after exercising in Chapter 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Offred seems to be trapped throughout the book, though other characters have different paths. What choices were available to women in Gilead? How do these compare to the choices that men had in determining their fates?

Essay Topic 2

Though the novel is rich in description, Offred actually spends a significant amount of time doing nothing. Examine the significance of ‘waiting’ in the context of the novel. When does Offred wait, and for what? How is this important?

Essay Topic 3

Offred writes about having taken certain things for granted in her earlier life. Write an essay in which you discuss which things in particular she took for granted, and why. What are some things which she always valued, by contrast?

(see the answer keys)

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