In the book, Atwood uses many references and keywords, which connect the story to biblical terms and passages within the bible. An example of that is Gilead, in the Republic of Gilead, the name Gilead is in the bible found in the Old Testament, at the time it was flourishing Israelite upper region near the Jordan River that was well known for its abundance of cattle, vineyards, fruitful orchards, and spices. Through it is quite ironic that in the story, they eat sparingly and the women are barren. As Gilead reorganized their city to an Old Testament-inspired society, they referred all authoritative figures with some form of ...
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...hey truly were not aware of what was going on outside of Gilead. Through in ways Offred was able to remember her past life and hold on to her identity, there were many handmaids who were not able to do that and accepted their fate in being a handmaid.
The ways of Gilead were controlled and barbaric at times of punishment. The punishment for men and women were quite savage in Gilead. Men and Women were hung for their crimes while others watch the act. After they placed them on display on the wall, which stands tall in the city for the crimes, they commit. However, we never find if the crimes they are said to commit are true. For example, when an Aunt is speaking to the handmaids about a man who was accused of raping a handmaid, the woman participated in beating him to death without anyone questioning it they just accepted what an authority figure had said to them.
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