Offred is Luke’s second wife with whom she had a happy marriage. They had a daughter with Luke. She was working at the library. When a coup occurred leading to the overthrow of the government, she loses both access to money and her job. Offred and the family including Luke and her daughter tried to escape to another country by faking papers. Before they could cross the borders their plan was realized, and she was captured with her daughter, and the two are separated. She is dragged after the separation and found herself at Rachael and Leah Re-education Center. The narrator says that this place was known as “Red Center” by those who inhabited it. It was called Red Center because women who were the inhabitants had been indoctrinated into Gilead’s Ideology to prepare them in becoming Handmaids. Handmaids are women who were meant to have non-erotic and emotionless sex with the w powerful men in the society to provide children to society.
Offred became theocracy’s walking womb after she was captured to breed new children because most women in the society had become sterile due to sexually transmitted diseases and pollution. Offred failed to be pregnant after three attempts and was soon to become those who are known as “Unwoman” who are then given the task of cleaning the toxic wastes until their death. Offred’s name literally meant “Of-Fred” the man who she was supposed to conceive a baby with. She was lured into several illicit affairs with Fred who is the Commander in ceremonies. The commander started the session by giving Offred magazines, books, clothes and cosmetics. The wife to Commander Serena Joy not knowing this arranges for Offred to have sex with her Chauffer called Nick to increase her likelihood of being pregnant. Unfortunately one day the Commander’s wife found out that Offred was secretly having an affair with the Commander. Because of fear, Offred went to her room because she knew that she had to be punished by Serena Joy for the act. After a while, she saw a black van approaching her room. The narrator says that the van had a sign “You are about to get arrested or killed.” Nick came in her room before the van arrived to convince her that the van was for the resistance team who came to rescue her. The men from the car came in her room and escorted her from the house of the Commander not knowing her fate because she never trusted the vehicle and its inhabitants.
Members of Mayday, who wanted to overthrow the Gilead, however, continued with the affront to oust Gilead. Most of their members acted as spies to get information from the Galeadean Society to help the main political targets to escape for safety before they were caught. Mayday group had many members secretly in the Galeaddean society including Guardians and the Handmaids. The Eyes members also served as double members for Mayday to help them carry out the clandestine. Many people who were not part of the Mayday were aware of the existence of Mayday and what was to happen but were silenced by threats of being hanged as traitors.
On the other hand, members of Gilead continued to use their threats to making most of the people not to join Mayday. They executed every member of Mayday who was captured by attaching them with trumped-up charges. This was the best tactic that the government of Gilead used to silence Mayday new members to discourage people from joining the group thwarting the groups plan.
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