In the story "The Handmaid's Tale" the author uses flashback devices to take the reader to the barrack like location of the girls. They are contained in a prison like environment where they can not escape and the gymnasium is surrounded by barb wire. They are devoid of hope and entrapped in a cold uncaring environment. By employing the use of flashbacks the writer prepares the reader to enter the present where life is a struggle. The main character is a handmaid which means she will become a mother, a reproductive vessel.