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The Handmaid’s Tale Characters and Analysis

Main Characters and Analysis


She is the protagonist and the narrator of the story, although her reliability is questionable as she does try to alter the stories to make them better for her readers. She is not outspoken, nor is she submissive. Even as a handmaid she still has power over the men who are considered more powerful than her, such as a few guardians and even the Commander.

She is a covert rebel that indulges in small acts of rebellion that give her satisfaction, but at the same time she will not do anything to risk her own life if it does not benefit her. In both cases The Commander and Serena Joy were ordering her to perform certain tasks that are illegal but she obeys them both because she has to and sometimes she wants to.


She is Offred’s friend and is a radical feminist like Offred’s mother, to the point where she becomes a lesbian just to avoid men in general. She is constantly rebellious and outspoken and was unfit to be a handmaid.

She is smart and independent and that is also shown through her cleaver weapon construction and her attempts to escape until she was captured and forced into becoming a Jezebel.

The Commander

He is the head of the household that Offred lives in and her name “Of-Fred” suggests that his name is Fred and that she belongs to him. Although he belongs to a higher rank, he seems to be the most gullible and naive character in the book. He is pathetic and lonely as he does not communicate with his wife and so he cheats on her with the Handmaids by making them his intellectual as well as his sexual companions.