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Offred’s club discovery: Everyone breaks the rules

 The commander sneaks Offred off of the property for a night “out,” a luxury from the past. We are taken into the ‘club’ where we see a variety of men, dressed in suits and women in different revealing “tropical” outfits. We are introduced to the Jezebel’s who seem to be a form of prostitutes who can be “rented out for the night.”Although a club of this sort is strictly forbidden, we see yet another way that the highest class, the Commanders are able to abuse their powers to indulge in things of the past. 

After being in the club for a short time, Offred notices Moira. After they exchange their classic cue, they meet in the bathroom and catch up. Offred learns about Moira’s escape and introduction into the Jezebel lifestyle. She explains it as more liberating, and she even tries to convince Offred to join. Although she was caught trying to escape in a chicken truck, she met a better fate than she thought. Although Moira is essentially a prostitue, this lifestyle seems to be more attractive than any of the others presented to women in the society of Gilead. Even though they are continuously sexually exploited, Moira gains the freedom to learn more of the ins and outs of their society. Moira goes on to tell Offred about her mother who she saw in a video which was presented to her at the end of her punishment. We learn where the old women are sent, to the colonies where they help clean atomic waste. Although this saddens Offred she is excited to hear any news as she has been separated from any of her former life for so long. This section fortifies the idea that no regime can prevent humans from breaking the rule. Further, we are forced to question why everyone in this society is upholding the values if no-one really follows the rules. 

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  1. Nora Apt Nora Apt

    I think you raise an important question — why are these individuals complying with the regulations of the Gilead if everyone just defies them anyway? This question relates to an article I just read for my theories and models class. The article mentions that acting out against unethical leaders often takes courage that many individuals do not have. The article also notes that in difficult situations, it’s easier for people to comply than take action.

  2. Emma Joaquin Emma Joaquin

    I think the fact that there are “underground” businesses like this show how no matter what kind of laws the government tries to enforce people find a way to rebel and break them. Just like in the prohibition era with speakeasies , the citizens of Gilead have found their own secret establishments.

  3. Michael Paul Michael Paul

    You pose an interesting question about upholding values when nobody follows the rules. It seems clear at this point that Gilead is simply a way to gain as much power as possible and values are only ways to control an already suppressed population.

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