The Handmaid's Tale- Character analysis

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Offred
Never learn her real name, she is both protagonist and narrator, she was not political and did not forsee what was going to happen, only means of survival is through small rebellions, she is an astute observer, ironical and cynical sense of humour.
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Offred
Educated, both independent and feminine, seperates her body from her mind to prevent mental collapse, retains a sense of privacy- never hear about her first night with Nick. The reader only sees the characters through Offred's eyes.
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The Commander
Description constantly changes as Offred's feelings towards him change, elusive, ruthless, among the elite who are responsible for the implementation of the Gileadean regime, blind to effects of regime, paternal, more unlikeable as it progresses.
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The Commander
Gives regime a human face, appears to be a vulnerable old man as he watches Offred being taken away, lonely and isolated so he breaks rules that he introduced.
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Serena Joy
(Nominative determinism) Most important female figure in Offred's daily life, representation of the spurned wife, trapped in her own ideals, frustration and unhappiness are evident in her chain-smoking and surly manner, believes in love.
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Serena Joy
Wretched and generous to Offred, mixed feelings when Offred leaves, arouses the reader's sympathy.
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Moira
Very strong character with a strong sense of survival, beacon of hope for Offred, self-assured, individual, humour at the red centre is important to the other Handmaids as it is the only weapon they have against the tyranny of the Aunts.
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Moira
Politically feminist and lesbian, betrays herself and her ideas at Jezebel's, despite several attempts to escape, she is captured and condemned to a factious life within the regime
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Nick
Attractive with an air of mystery, he is an Eye and a trusted member of Commander's household, shows a rebellious streak when he winks Offred and touches her feet during Prayers, fulfils Offred's fantasy of being rescued, possibly a member of Mayday.
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Luke
'New man' of the twentieth century- involved in child rearing, cooking etc., presented as a shadowy figure in Offred's narrative (suggests he is dead), his memory is vital to her survival, only person from the 'time before' who never resurfaces.
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Luke
Nick is Luke's mirror in Gilead.
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Offred's mother
Member of the Women's liberation movement in the 1960s and 70s, records of her participation in events such s book burnings is based on facts- exploits taken to the extreme in Gilead, obvious links to Moira.
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Offred's mother
Reduced to being an Unwoman- clearing toxic waste in the colonies, used as an example in documentary films, disappointed that Offred takes for granted the advances in women's rights that her generation achieved.
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Ofglen
Altruistic heroine, shows mercy and bravado, represents collective resistance, reacts very differently to Offred when she knows the black fan is coming for her, suicide an act of valour?
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Janine
Victim of freedom of opression, **** is a crime of power- 'time before'- gang ****d, as a handmaid, her Unbaby is destroyed, victimised by a powerful group of men. Devout believer of the system, goes mad.
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The Aunts
Older omen who train Handmaids, betray other own women through their collaboration with the new regime, use physical punishment as a means of control, names suggest they are caring and supportive (nominative determinism).
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Professor Piexioto
Tries to be analytical and impartial about the text he is studying, does not take Offred's testimony seriously because of his inability to place it completely in a context of known historical facts.
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Other characters
Angels- Soldiers of the Gileadean army. Marthas- female servents such as cooks and housekeepers. Guardians of the Faith- members of the police force. The Eyes- Secret police within the police force. Econowives- Wives of common men.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Educated, both independent and feminine, seperates her body from her mind to prevent mental collapse, retains a sense of privacy- never hear about her first night with Nick. The reader only sees the characters through Offred's eyes.

Back

Offred

Card 3

Front

Description constantly changes as Offred's feelings towards him change, elusive, ruthless, among the elite who are responsible for the implementation of the Gileadean regime, blind to effects of regime, paternal, more unlikeable as it progresses.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Gives regime a human face, appears to be a vulnerable old man as he watches Offred being taken away, lonely and isolated so he breaks rules that he introduced.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

(Nominative determinism) Most important female figure in Offred's daily life, representation of the spurned wife, trapped in her own ideals, frustration and unhappiness are evident in her chain-smoking and surly manner, believes in love.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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Comments

gingerfog

I need all the help I can get and so this is really really useful.

mariam687

really good :)

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