The Commander

This post is about the Commander. We see his type in some of the other texts we have studied. He is a great believer in Gilead yet he thwarts its principles. His office is full of books, “No wonder we can’t come in here. It’s an oasis of the forbidden.” He seems to want to retain some aspects of the past and he certainly wants to relate to Offred. He even trots out the cliched ‘my wife doesn’t understand me’ line. Offred realises, “That was what I was there for, then. The same old thing. It was too banal to be true.” Offred can’t reject him as he could send her to the colonies. He takes her to Jezebels and says, “It’s like walking into the past …” He claims that brothels are human nature and can’t be repressed. The thing that differs now however, is the prostitutes at Jezebels tend to be intellectuals forced to be there. They would not have been prostitutes in the past. So in Gilead the Commander has all the benefits of the regime and he retains aspects of the past. He can do this because he is male and he has the power. The Commander represents the hypocrisy, the corruption and the power of the Gileadean regime.

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