• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Offred a Rebel?

Extracts from this document...


Is Offred a Rebel? 'Rebel' is a term, which is highly weighed down with emotion. In society today we perceive a rebel to be a figure opposing a much stronger majority. We distinguish the rebel to be a character who fights for his/her own ideals. We see a person that will do anything almost being ruthless to destroy the boundaries set up against him/her by the stronger mass. We witness the rebel as an individual who deliberately defines a battlefield and two fighting fronts. The rebel is constantly is resisting. The only way he/she can defend his morals and values are to strike the greater that condemns his/her values and morals. Unfortunately today there are many misconceptions and preconceptions relating to the essence of a true rebel. Society tends to comprehend the rebel to be figure fighting on the front lines, spilling blood for his cause. Especially the media has delivered this image of a rebel. We must acknowledge the fact there are other forms of rebels and rebellions. It is not fair to say that the form of rebel that is described above is not valid, but still we must make a suitable distinction. We must not always consider the rebel to be an individual like 'William Wallace' who fought for his country's independence by using violence as his primary weapon. In the course of history we have witnessed another category of rebels. Characters such as Mahatma Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Emmeline Pankhurst all gave birth to another form of rebel, the rebel that fought for his values passively. ...read more.


Offred also claims the need to do things but never does them. An excellent example of this is at the end of the book: 'I could scream now, cling to the banister, relinquish dignity. I could stop them at least for a moment.' Offred always wishes to do something but she never does. This is not the characteristic of a true and active rebel. A true rebel does what she wants to. After Ofglen's suicide Offred feels happy that it is not she that is dead. Offred is grateful that Ofglen dies for the 'Mayday' purely because it is not she. I feel that this behaviour is not the behaviour of a true rebel. It is legitimate to say that Offred lacks the qualities of a true active rebel. There are only a few occasions where she becomes active. I feel that the scene that reflects this aspect of Offred's character most effectively is when Offred asks the new the Ofglen about 'Mayday'. It is at this point Offred lets go of all her fears. I feel that intrepidness is a vital quality of a rebel's character. Offred's active rebellion also shows its forms when Offred steals the flower. In this fundamentalist Christian society stealing is a great sin. Stealing in general is always forbidden. By stealing Offred destroys another barrier that keeps her imprisoned. This again is emphasised by her illegal relationship with Nick. I feel that it is not Offred's active part of her rebellion that captures my interest I feel that Offred's passive rebellion is a revolt that requires much emotion and strength. ...read more.


When the 'Angels' come to collect Offred she leaves the house with great dignity and honour. She maybe feeling torn up on the inside but she does not expose it. It is also remarkable how she does not fear the moment after evaluating the situation. The historical notes offer us proof that Offred's struggles do pay off even if she never got to see the brighter day. Her tapes proved, that by maintaining her own identity she was able to move on and tell her story. Even if she never got to witness the fall of Gilead she proved that they couldn't make her fall. They could not eliminate Offred. They failed to shut her mouth. Offred spoke out against them in the loudest voice possible. Offred's cassettes did more than just speak her voice. I feel that the true reason why Offred did not assign her name is because she wanted to speak universally. Offred wanted to speak in the name of all handmaids. In studying Offred's rebellion we can see that she suffered an internal conflict. Offred's plight is always human as well as ideological. She wanted to rebel but at the same time she was scared of loosing herself in the process. Offred had to win the conflict within her before she could start the external battle. Offred won this conflict and decided that her humanity was the risk for a great cause, love. 'As long as women consent to be unjustly governed, they will be; but directly women say: "We withhold our consent," we will not be governed any longer as long as government is unjust.' Emmeline Pankhurst (1858- 1928) 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Margaret Atwood section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Margaret Atwood essays

  1. To what extent is Offred a heroine? There are many unique features that make ...

    opportunity to have s*x with Nick when they met in the kitchen. In both instances Offred feared being caught, which shows that she lacked the determination and bravery to carry out these deeds. In the final chapter of the story, Offred is taken away by the eyes but it remains

  2. 'Despite Atwood's portrayal of Gilead as soulless and destructive she has nevertheless succeeded in ...

    find a way of talking through a hole in the wall, which poses as a hole in the system. However, Atwood creates the feeling of empowerment and hope through these rebellions but she never goes as far as to say there definitely is hope.

  1. 'There is more than one kind of freedom,' said Aunt Lydia. 'Freedom to and ...

    This protection quickly turns into oppression. It was thought by the oppressors that they were helping these girls, by giving them freedom from; r**e, s****l harassment, work, and the troubles of bringing up children. However by doing so they were taking their 'freedom to'; work and feed and clothe themselves and make their own decisions.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of the major female characters in the novel, including ...

    Moira provides a role model / heroine to Offred and the other Handmaid's: "Moria was our fantasy. We hugged her to us, she was with us in a secret, giggle she was lava beneath the crust of daily life," But is also seen as "frightening".

  1. In many ways the ideas in this dystopian novel are more important than the ...

    and the freer, happier spaces of memory. Though she is forbidden to use her own name, she keeps it like a buried treasure, as guarantee of her other identity ('I keep the knowledge of this name like something hidden, some treasure I'll come back to dig up, one day - Chapter 14).

  2. Compare and contrast the ways these authors present the oppressive society of their dystopias ...

    In the Christian context, Gilead is a source of healing. By stripping down the language used to show imagination, feeling, thought and individualism they are stripping away identities and placing people into groups to make it easier to persecute them and to prevent them from fighting back.

  1. Examine the Character of Offred and Consider her Role as the Heroine of the ...

    all the women, from the past and present, with no rights or representation. In this way, her narrative is exemplary and symbolic. Moreover, Offred tells the story of other women, further depicting through a series of contrasts, her potency compared to that of depleting women's.

  2. The Handmaid's Tale: Rebellion is Freedom

    "As long as we do this, butter our skin to keep it soft, we can believe we will some day get out, that we will be touched again, in love or desire. We have ceremonies of our own. Private ones."(97)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work