Character Analysis Names There is a notable absence of real names in this book, so character traits have to be formed and determined outside of a name or its meaning. The Handmaids are all referred to by names that signify the Commanders they serve: Offred, Ofglen, Ofwarren, Ofcharles, etc. These names are "patronymic, composed of the possessive preposition and the first name of the gentleman in question" and, like the other names in the text, they are "equally useless for the purposes of identification and authentication" Historical Notes.
The first ten were spent fighting in the Trojan War, and the next ten were spent in continual wanderings en route home from the war. His wife Penelope, meanwhile, has been harassed by dozens of suitors who have come to win her hand in marriage.
Penelope, desperately clinging to the hope that her husband is still alive, tries to stall the suitors by making them an idle promise: However, when alone at night, Penelope secretly undoes the work of the shroud so that the fabrication of the garment will go on indefinitely.
Unfortunately, the ruse has been discovered by the suitors, who now demand she choose one of them immediately. In so doing, they are devouring his livestock and abusing his servants.
The direct victim of their voracious behavior is Tele-machus, the son of Odysseus who is now approaching manhood. Athene, goddess of wisdom and daughter of Zeus, begs her father to allow Odysseus to return home at last, for he has languished for seven years on the isle of the nymph Calypso, who holds him captive.
Obtaining permission and aid from her father, Athene comes down from Mount Olympus to visit Telemachus in disguise.
She convinces him that he should sail abroad and seek information concerning his father. Athene manages to get together a crew and ship for Telemachus, and he departs without informing his mother or the suitors.
Telemachus arrives at Pylus with Athene, who is disguised as the elder friend of Odysseus, Mentor. There Telemachus is warmly received and entertained by the aged Nestor, the famous counselor of the Trojan War.
Nestor informs Telemachus of the various ill-fated homecomings of the Greeks, especially the fate of Agamemnon, commander of the Greeks at Troy, who was slain by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. Menelaus and his queen, Helen, whose retreat with Paris instigated the Trojan War, entertain Telemachus with splendor.
Menelaus tells his guests of his own wanderings which resulted in his encounter with the Old Man of the Sea, Proteus. The nymph reluctantly agrees, and sends Odysseus on his way in a raft of his own making. With the help of Athene and the sea goddess, Leukothea, Odysseus is able to swim for several days and land exhausted on the isle of the Phaeaceans: After having secured shelter for himself beneath a bush, Odysseus is wakened the next morning by the playful dancing of Nausikaa, Princess of the Phaeaceans, and the handmaids who accompany her to do the palace laundry.
There are also great games played in which Odysseus reluctantly takes part with great success. When they learn he is the famous adventurer, Odysseus, they demand he tell them of his many adventures.
Odysseus begins his tale with the departure of his twelve ships from Troy and his early encounters with the Ciconians and Lotus-Eaters. He then recounts his adventure with Polyphemus the Cyclops.
He chose twelve men from his ship to join him in exploring the cavernous home of Polyphemus.A short summary of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Handmaid’s Tale.
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The Handmaid's Tale (SparkNotes Literature Guide) by Margaret Atwood Making the reading experience fun!
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Words 8 Pages. The Handmaid's Tale is written by Margaret Atwood and was originally published by McClelland and Stewart in The novel is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale, written by Margaret Attwood, goes on.