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The Handmaid's tale - the character of the Commander

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Commander The Commander is a fairly confusing character because it is never completely clear whether he truly cares for Offred and believes in the Gileadean regime or not. The Commander slowly becomes more comfortable with Offred and begins to treat her as a daughter as the novel progresses. By meeting with Offred at night he is trying to make her life more ?bearable? (Atwood 236). Also, ?[w]hat he wants is intimacy? from Offred as he asks to talk to her every night and asks for her opinion on the Gileadean regime (Atwood 264). It seems as though he genuinely likes and cares about Offred. However, he also suggests to Offred that he does not believe women can add or write. Clearly, he agrees with Gilead?s perspective on women?s roles in society. ...read more.


In the end, Offred?s observation is proved to be true when the Commander, not knowing that the Eyes taking Offred away are actually helping her, says nothing to try to help Offred when the Eyes take her away or when Serena plans on punishing her for her relationship with him. Despite the Commander?s powerful position in Gilead, he does exhibit some forms of rebellion as well. Jezebel?s is the Commander?s form of rebellion and he seems to frequent this forbidden night club. He also seems to be in the habit of tricking himself into believing in Gileadean society. Offred observes, ?[...]he says many things that way [as if he believes it]. Maybe he believes it, maybe he doesn?t, or maybe he does both at the same time. ...read more.


Waterford. If this is true, he would have been responsible for some of the more creative aspects of Gilead, such as the naming of ceremonies like the Particicution. Although this would link him to some of the more violent aspects of the society, the link would be very indirect. It would also suggest that he is a very intelligent man. Another interesting piece of information to note from the Historical Notes is that, as suggested earlier in the novel, the Commander, like many others, was most likely sterile as the result of a biological sterility causing virus that was meant for Moscow officials pre-Gilead. The Historical Notes also reveal that the Commander was executed soon after Offred?s escape for harbouring a subversive individual. This may have been Offred, but it was most likely Nick who?s allegiance to the Mayday group was probably discovered when he rescued Offred from the Commander?s household. ...read more.

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