The Commander In The Handmaid's Tale

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Character Development Throughout The Handmaid’s Tale Commander: The Commander is the most important male character in the novel. To Offred (The narrator), the Commander symbolizes control, domination and imprisonment. The character endured much development as the story went on. In the introduction of the story, the Commander is pictured as a tall, strong, unapprochable character with alot of authority. The readers are fully aware that the Commander is one of the founder of the Gilead and is reponsible for horrible acts. “The two others [hanged] have purple placards around their neck. Gender Treachery.” (80) and “Thats when they [the military] suspended the Constitution.” (260) are just two examples of the horrible crimes the Commander (and…show more content…
The name Serena Joy is really misleading as her character is the complete opposite of those two words. “However, neither Judd or Waterford was married to a woman who was or had ever been known as “Pam” or as “Serena Joy.” suggests that Serena Joy is a psuedoname created by the Offred. Serena Joy is the woman of the house, the second in command, she controls all the handmaid (and others) life in the Commanders house. She was once an active speaker for “the sanctity of home, and how women should stay home.” (83). But when the Gilead was made and she was forced to stay home “She stays in her home, but it does not seem to agree with her.” (84). Serena Joy who was once a star and active speaker fell to the oppression towards female in the time of the Gilead. Her personality changed as well, one would think she is a loyal to her husband but offered Offred to have sex with Nick. “We just won’t tell him[Commander], will we?” (303) is a solid proof that Serena is not loyal to the Commander and she just wants to have a baby. When Serena found out about the affair she said “Just like the other one. A slut.”(420). This shows the selfish side of Serena Joy, as she allow Offred to have an affair with Nick but not the Commander. Serena is fine with anything that agrees with her and will punish those who violates her will. In conclusion, Serena Joy’s character changed from Pre-Gilead’s star, motivational speaker to stay…show more content…
Unlike most of the main characters in other novels, Offred is weak, she is passive, she does not do anything and goes with the current. Her main contribution to the world is her record of what happened in the Gilead society. Her world is limited within the walls and she does nothing to resist it. She misses Luke (her husband) and her daughter, she fears that if she does anything wrong the Gilead would punish them. Although there is almost no chance for her to ever see either of them again, she still tries to preseve the relationship. She is used by Commander for sex and companionship and had an affair with Nick (higher preganancy chance). Most of her actions are being forced “Which of us is it worse for, her or me?”(151) meant the sex between the narrator and commander is unbearable to the point of watching your husband having sex with another women right infront of you. Her only defiance done totally by herself is “I will use the butter later that night.” (113), everything else including escaping the Gilead, having an affair with Commander, having an affair with Nick and leaving the Commanders house are all stimulated by others. Offred represent those who does not stand against oppresion, being pushed around and used for sex. In conclusion, Offreds character remaines unchanged through the novel, she is still powerless, speechless yet observant and
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