First-Person Narrative In The Handmaid's Tale

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In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred is the narrator and a protagonist in the story as well. Margaret Atwood, the author of the narrative, chose to use a first-person narrator in the story who gives a tale from her point-of-view explaining the events and memories that took place around her. Importantly, Offred gives the narration as the events happen and shows a reader her thoughts through digressions and flashbacks. Offred is a Handmaid in the Gilead Republic, which is a state characterized by totalitarianism and has replaced the United States. The nation has low rates of reproduction, and the role of the handmaid is to bear children for couples that experience trouble conceiving and giving birth. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s …show more content…
For example, in chapter twenty-four, Offred has a flashback of a documentary that she has read and watched about the mistress of a Nazi camp guard. She remembers that the woman claimed that the lover was not a monster “He was not a monster, to her… Probably he has some endearing trait: he whistled, offkey, in the shower, he had a yen for truffles, he called his dog Liebchen and made it sit up for little pieces of raw steak. How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all” (Atwood 145). Through Atwood’s first-person narrative the audience can see how Offred relates the situation of the woman with her since she spends a lot of time at night with her commander, and Offred grows to have some feelings for him. The audience can note that she thinks the commander is a right, friendly and kind person. Atwood states that “People say he is a monster, but he was not a monster”, and even when the times were not right “She took pride in her appearance and she did not believe he was one” (Atwood 145). However, he delights in oppression by constructing societal roles that are oppressive in the Gileadean society. Despite the fact that the commander is not a monster to her, he is still a monster. The main point that the narrator tries to bring out in this situation is the fact that it is quite easy for one to know a person who is evil on a personal level since one could invent a liberal side for them. The audience gets to know that the narrator is satisfied with her job and does not want to do anything that might ruin it. However, she does not agree with the commander’s oppressive nature against the women claiming that it portrays him as a monster since to her he is kind and

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