Character Analysis Of Offred In 'The Handmaid's Tale'

447 Words2 Pages
Manpreet Chera
ENG 3U105
Mr. Anderson
January 5th, 2015

The Handmaid’s Tale ISU Journal #3: Character
Offred is the narrator and protagonist of The Handmaid’s Tale. Offred belongs to the class of Handmaids, fertile women forced to bear children for elite, barren couples. Handmaids show which Commander owns them by adopting their Commanders names, such as Fred, and preceding them with “Of.” Offred remembers her real name but never reveals it. Offred was once a librarian and she no longer has family or friends, though she has flashbacks to a time in which she had a daughter and a husband named Luke. Offred remembers her sadness, fear, and isolation as her rights were slowly taken away from her during the establishment of the Gileadean regime.
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She tells the story as it happens, and shows us the travels of her mind through asides, flashbacks, and digressions. Offred is intelligent, perceptive, and kind. She possesses enough faults to make her human, but not so many that she becomes an unsympathetic figure. She also possesses a dark sense of humor. Like most of the women in Gilead, she is an ordinary woman placed in an extraordinary situation. The book never gives out detail on Offred's appearance. We find out that she has"viable ovaries," but yet we don't even know what her real name is or what she looks likes.

The narrator of this novel undergoes a lot of transformations throughout this section of the novel we see Offreds true colors and more of her personality through her relationships with the Commander and Nick. Offred shows how curiosity can lead to one push the limits of society and boundaries of knowledge. Offred is a dynamic character that develops from quiet and reserved handmaid into the rebellious protagonist as the story progresses. Offred is a mostly passive character, goodhearted but complacent. Like her peers, she took for granted the freedoms feminism won and now pays the

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