Study Guide

The Handmaid's Tale Characters

By Margaret Atwood

The Narrator (Offred)

The narrator is definitely the most significant character in the novel—she's the Handmaid...

Moira

Remembering Moira's story always brings a tear (or, to be honest, several dozen tears) to our...

Serena Joy

Serena Joy is neither serene nor joyful. Then again, Serena Joy isn't her real name. In a novel...

The Commander

In a way, the Commander is the most naïve character in the book... which is super ironic...

Nick

Nick is the closest thing The Handmaid's Tale has to a sexy bad boy—after all, he knocks...

Luke

Poor Luke. Not only is he most likely dead, but what life he has (which is all in the memory of...

Aunt Lydia

There are plenty of unlikable characters in this dystopic nightmarescape, but we have a special...

Ofglen

The total paranoia of Gilead finds personification in Ofglen. We don't know whether she's a total...

Janine

Brown-noser. Suck-up. Apple-polisher. Janine in The Handmaid's Tale. They all mean the same...

The Narrator's Daughter

The narrator's daughter is more important in the text for what she represents than for who she...

The Narrator's Mother

The narrator's mama—much like the narrator's husband and daughter—has been reduced...

Rita

Rita is one of the two Marthas assigned to the Commander's household, mainly in charge of...

Cora

Cora is one of the two Marthas assigned to the Commander's household, primarily in charge of...

Aunt Elizabeth

Aunt Elizabeth is one of the women in charge at the Center. She doesn't make as big an impression...

Professor James Darcy Pieixoto

Professor Pieixoto is the keynote speaker at the end of the book, in the "Historical Notes"...

Professor Maryann Crescent Moon

Professor Moon is one of the speakers at the end of the book, in the "Historical Notes" section....