What Is Power In The Handmaid's Tale

1680 Words 7 Pages
Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid 's Tale, takes place in Gilead, a society that is completely controlled to protect the people from freedom and in their opinion the sadness that goes along with it.With the power that the Commander has not all the rules apply to him. The Commander power allows him to not be controlled but is controlling to people who are inferior to him. Offred is a Handmaid; a Handmaid’s job is to conceive a child with the Commander. In Gilead, fertility is a dying ability and Offred wishes to conceive a baby so that she will not have to partake in the ceremonial sex with the Commander. Offred lives a life of sadness just like many of the Handmaids. Her life changes, however, when one day the Commander asks to see her in his quarters, a request that was strictly against the rules. As a whole, the novel is a testament to how power can be brokered through language in a relationship; the meetings with the Commander and Offred give the reader an in-depth look into how power can be brokered between two unlikely people, the colonizer and the colonized.
Before Offred began her relationship with the Commander she lived a life in Gilead of no meaning. Offred had a purpose to society--to make a baby--but she did not have an emotional
…show more content…
At this point, he has colonized her to conform to his liking. Offred allows her life to be in the hands of the Commander. In one of their meetings the Commander gets up from his desks and walks over towards Offred. “he puts his hands on my shoulders, from behind. I can’t see him”.(Atwood, 210) The fact that the Commander gets up and puts his hands on her and stands behind her is another power strategy. She has to trust him because she can’t see him, which gives him all the power to do whatever he wants. Offred is turning submissive to him, which is his goal when trying to colonize

Related Documents

Related Topics