The Role Of Offred In The Handmaid's Tale

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In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred goes through many changes within her experience in Gilead. These changes include losing her job, being unable to read and being unable to have anything of value. Offred, alongside with many other women has been deemed as a handmaid. As a handmaid, the fertile women of Gilead are used to produced children for the infertile women and families. A handmaid 's life within this society contained of things such as the Ceremony where Offred would lie on her back, “fully clothed except for the healthy white cotton underdrawers.” (Atwood 93) this led to the Commander, his wife, and Offred getting the deed done to try for a baby. These very experiences molded Offred into the person she’d become at the end of the novel emphasizing the effect they had on her. Offred’s life before Gilead was similar to the typical women of 1980s. She had a husband, a child and more importantly a life. She would go to work,come back home and spend time with her family. However, when the society of Gilead took over, women were…show more content…
The message Atwood wants the reader to receive is a warning, that the freedoms we consider rights and take for granted could be taken away from us at any moment. In The Handmaid’s Tale Offred was just an ordinary person like anyone else. She took her freedoms for granted too, it was an ordinary day when she had gone to buy some cigarettes from the corner store. However, it wasn’t an ordinary day, it was the day the society of Gilead began to rise. When Offred went to go pay for her cigarettes, the man punched in her numbers one by one. Then the man said “Sorry, … This number’s not valid.” (Atwood 175) Offred wasn’t even the slightest bit aware of what was going on until later that day. She spoke to Moira about everything and she told her that it was a new law stating all of the women’s assets would be given to their male next of
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