The Handmaids Tale
Margaret Atwood
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Chapter 44

After Offred had taken a reasonable lunch, she leaves the house, passes by Nick, and then pauses at the corner to wait for Ofglen (Atwood, 2004). However, when Ofglen approaches, she looks rather different, and Offred notices that is another woman entirely. She tries to inquire about the original Ofglen, but this woman insists that she is in fact Ofglen. They walk by the wall and see new bodies on display there. Offred tries to subtly convey her opposition to the Gilead regime but the new Ofglen says next to nothing. Offred perseveres, trying to shoehorn the resistance codeword ‘Mayday’ into the conversation. The new Ofglen responds by telling her that she should not think of such things.  As a result of this, Offred becomes worried and paranoid, thinking of the possible repercussion. These thoughts are only made worse when the new Ofglen whispers that Ofglen had killed herself when she found out that the ‘Eye’ were on their way to question her.


The loss of Ofglen comes to Offred as a surprise, she was not prepared to lose her now. However, this loss shakes her off her usual caution as well as passivity. This is evident when she tries to use the resistance ‘Mayday’ password on Ofglen, indicating her opposition to the current regime. She begins to think of the possible dangers that her family, and those close to her could be subjected to. Thus, despite her initial lack of interest in the resistance, she now seems to be increasingly intrigued. Through her death, Ofglen is presented as a hero, a martyr. She willingly sacrifices her own life for the purpose of freedom. It is also a reminder of the risks that are associated with the resistance.

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