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The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers
How did Offred become a handmaid?

Before receiving the name Offred, the narrator and her husband, Luke, attempted to escape to Canada with their daughter. Although they were pretending to be taking a day trip and possessed fake passports, Offred believes someone tipped off the guards because “they were ready for us, and waiting.” Once they were captured, Offred’s marriage to Luke was dissolved since it was his second, and Offred was sent to the Rachel and Leah Re-education Center. Since she had previously given birth to a healthy child, she became a handmaid.