How does Offred have power in The Handmaid's Tale? Any specific examples/quotes?

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Part of answering this question depends upon how one wants to define "power." There is the kind of power Offred might have within the Republic of Gilead, a society that confers very little autonomy on women, even women of high social status. But there is also the question of power Offred possesses as a survivor of trauma and injustice, who wants to be reunited with her daughter and to push for a future where she is once again free to live her life as she wishes. Having been through horrible treatment, Offred's ability to stay clear-headed and cooperative is key to her survival. She has to "play the game" and do what is expected of her—although the narrative makes it clear she finds many of these expectations to be ludicrous, including the strange things she is expected to say (like "Blessed be the fruit" or "Praise be"), the old-fashioned clothing she must wear, and the modest, submissive behavior she is expected to display.

Offred's power, therefore, lies in her ability to dissemble,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 637 words.)

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