Theme Of Offred In The Handmaid's Tale

2009 Words9 Pages
Offred is not a victim. Or rather, she is not a guiltless victim. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred is undoubtedly subjected to the worst horrors of a society which strips her of autonomy and forces its ways upon her unflinching but unwilling mind – much like the Commander whom they assign to do the same to her unflinching but unwilling body. However, a victim as she is, Offred is involved in the very system which abuses her. She is a product of her circumstances throughout the course of The Handmaid’s Tale and remains passive in the face of oppression - in that sense, she is complicit in the perpetuation of all that Gilead represents. Offred provides an admission of guilt: "We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it" (66). All those who choose to “ignore” the cold hand of oppression and presume complacency are just as guilty of the result of that ignorance. But beyond base ignorance and submission to authority, Offred remains compliant even when outside of the line of direct danger – a display of her submission to the systemic oppression of Gilead. Offred, as the protagonist, incorrectly appears as a “heroine” in a . In actuality, her In the Historical Notes, the Gileadean expert Pieixoto describes Offred’s tale as a transcription of tapes uncovered from a footlocker in what was once Maine (314). Therefore, the events of the tale must have been relayed some time after they occurred, after Offred’s rescue masked as an arrest
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