From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Protagonist

Character Role Analysis

The Narrator (Offred)

The narrator is classic protagonist. It's hard not to root for someone ripped apart from her family, rounded up into a reeducation camp, and forced to move into a strange home, wear a bizarre uniform, and serve as a kind of creepy pregnancy toy. You've got to empathize with someone in that position, and hope that she manages to escape from this nightmarish life.

When the book starts, the narrator seems like a shell. Memories and flashbacks are all she's got; she's not even allowed to read. At first we pity her, then, as she shares more and more about her life in Gilead, we become increasingly freaked out. Even if the narrator weren't a likeable character—and maybe not everyone thinks she's awesome—she deserves to persevere over her many obstacles and have a triumphant happy ending. The question is whether she gets that ending or not.