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The Handmaid’s Tale characters are all presented in a way which hides one part of their personnalities

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  • Essay length: 572 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
GCSE Margaret Atwood

An extract from this essay...

Character Analysis : The Commander

Gilead is a very unique world, thanks to Margaret Atwood! In The Handmaid's Tail, it seems like all the characters are presented in a way which hides one part of their personalities. For the commander, it is his acceptation of the world he partly created, his happiness, which is hidden. He doesn't seem to be happy, but in fact he is. In this essay, I will show you that the commander really likes the way his life has taken and that he is an hypocritical and selfish man.

The Commander lives a very normal life, comparatively to every character of the novel : he has a job which he goes to every day, he has a wife (let's not talk about her any further...), friends (his club), and a mistress(or more than one?)! It is true that his wife does not give him the hapiness a wife should, but in general, the Commander is a pleased man, for he has or obtain everything he wants. Also, let's not forget the fact that he's one of the creators of Gilead, and therefore can have access to anything that's still existing. The power he has is unlimited, and God knows power makes people happy. So, in short, the Commander is a pleased man because he is powerfull, sexually satisfied, and has an active social life.

On an other side, he is a very hypocritical man and is also very selfish. The best example to prouve this is his relation with Offred. It is presented in a way that make the reader think he is nice to her, but in fact he is nice to him! He doesn't play scrabble with her so she can have fun, but because he is bored at night and wants to be entertained. In the club scene, he even says to Offred : "You can't cheat Nature, Nature demands variety for men." There, he's trying to justify his acts towards her, his hypocrisy. He's telling her that it is normal that this sort of underground club exists, for human need to be entertained and have a social life. This is really a significant trait of the "real" Commander : we see through these paroles that, for him, life kept going almost the same as before.

His relation with Offred is therefore normal for

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