Characters

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Last Updated on October 8, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 333

Margaret Atwood's novel The Testaments (2019)—a sequel to perhaps her best-known book, The Handmaid's Tale (1985)—has three narrators.

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Agnes Jemima

Agnes is an orphan who is currently preparing to enter an assigned marriage in Gilead. Agnes, who is too young to remember life before the reign of Gilead, has grown up in a stable house, the child of a Commander. Upon the death of her adoptive mother, Agnes recalls memories of running through the woods with another woman—and realizes that her biological mother, Offred, is a woman who works as a handmaid. Agnes runs away to Ardua Hall in order to escape her assigned marriage. She joins the Supplicants and takes the name Aunt Victoria. Agnes represents someone who rejects life under Gilead not because she has an awareness of what things were like before, but simply because it conflicts with the ways she wants to experience freedom and live her own life.

Daisy

Daisy is the biological sister of Agnes and is also Offred's daughter. Daisy does not live in Gilead, as she was smuggled out as a baby and lives with an adoptive family in Toronto. In Gilead, Daisy was known as "Baby Nicole" and became the subject of arguments between pro- and anti-Gilead activists. Daisy knows of Baby Nicole but does not know that this was her. Only after Daisy's adoptive parents are killed does she find out her true identity. Daisy enters a series of safe houses and ends up with the Aunts and Supplicants alongside Agnes. Daisy and Agnes ultimately escape from Gilead and meet their mother, Offred, in Canada.

Aunt Lydia

Aunt Lydia was a villain in The Handmaid's Tale; in The Testaments, she works at Ardua Hall with the Aunts and Supplicants. She trains women to become handmaids and is often cruel to them. Aunt Lydia is responsible for turning Baby Nicole into an incendiary media figure. She does so in order to prove that betrayal (the smuggling of Baby Nicole into Canada) is possible even within Gilead.

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