Why Do We Have Freedom In The Handmaid's Tale

951 Words 4 Pages
Set after the collapse of the United States, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood tells the tale of a woman named Offred living in a totalitarian government. The Republic of Gilead dictates roles based on one’s sex organs and their viability, such as the Commander, Eye, and Handmaid. Through the narration of the Offred, the reader notices that the relationship she forges with the Commander emphasizes her strengths and weaknesses. By analyzing the bond the main character has with the foil, Atwood conveys the idea that society is better off having freedom with limits than having strict laws that creates room for unhappiness to arise.
As one of the founders of Gilead, the Commander has a high position in the new society and a lot of power. His way of life goes against Offred and can take down her life should she step out of line. Instead of reinforcing the laws, he asks Offred to break them and meet with him at night. During the nightly sessions, he asks her questions, gives her gifts, and even allows her to write. Offred understands the consequences should she be found out by other people, but she still continues to do what he asks. In one of these sessions, she is told to put on a costume and learns that she is stepping outside the Commander’s land without a just reason. Upon hearing this, Offred knows that “without being told that what he’s proposing is risky, for him, but especially for me; but I want to go anyway” (231). After finding out that she is visiting Jezbel’s, a club where elite men have
…show more content…
The Commander’s relationship with Offred offers a contrast to her weaknesses and enhances her strengths. Atwood emphasizes the bond to illuminate the idea that although freedom has a cost, it is much better than trying to suppress one group and be forced to deal the ramifications on both

Related Documents