The Handmaid's Tale Critical Thinking Questions

Please answer each question thoughtfully and thoroughly. Do not forget to submit your answers below. 

1. Offred says of the Ceremony, “Nor does rape cover it: nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for. There wasn’t a lot of choice but there was some, and this is what I chose.” This obviously falls far short of consent in Canada or in the United States (Gilead, in the book) today. Explain why you believe Offred thinks of this as a choice, and what would have to change in the society of Gilead for her to be able to truly consent to her position? 

2. Science fiction is often described as a story told in the world as it is, with one or two details changed. Name one or two details that you believe Margaret Atwood changed to imagine Gilead, and explain the ways in which they would affect the world in the book. Conclude by explaining how likely or unlikely you believe the emergence of a country like Gilead is today.