Reading the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood shows many signs of rebelling. The protagonist Offred reveals multiple signs of rebelling against Gilead. Offred lives in a world where women who have a high possibility to get pregnant become sex workers for high ranking men in order to repopulate the earth. This how the government of Gilead operates with one of their laws. Offred throughout the the novel wishes she could escape, have negative thoughts about the government and its people and more. These are some of the signs of rebelling against Gilead. Through Offreds acts of rebelling against Gilead will affect her feelings towards herself and towards Gilead and its people.
The secret password given to Offred so she may use it when she needs to to who is part of the rebellion. Offred has a friend who is also a Handmaid like her, Ofglen. Throughout the novel we didn’t know much about her except that she has a close bond with Offred. Later in the novel, Ofglen reveals herself as part of the resistance to free women and fight against the Gilead government. The two of them always discuss subjects that are taboo in Gilead. During one of their outings Ofglen gives a password to Offred to use, “Mayday.” Ofglen explains, “Don’t use it unless you have to,…It isn’t good for us to know about too many of the others, in the network. In case you get caught,” (202). The use of this password is a double edge sword. Offred can use it to know others from the resistance however if someone of the Gilead government knows about it, it will back fire. When she returns home from her outing, she spots another secret message from Nick. Nick is the personal driver for the family he works for. Nick communicates to Offred by showing his crooked hat. This message explains her secret meeting with the commander, the man who she has to sleep with to get pregnant. Offred now knows two different passwords or messages that are signs of a rebellion towards Gilead: Mayday, and Nick’s hat. As times passes by, Offred will lose her fear of rebellious ways and continue them.
Offred may break Gileads laws of not sleeping with the commander, but with Nick in order to get pregnant for her own goals. When Offred returns from her outing, she enters in a conversation with Serena Joy, the commander’s wife. She explains to Offred that she has to get pregnant soon because her time of staying in the house is about to end. She believes that the commander is most likely sterile since he can’t impregnate Offred. She claims that Offred should have sex with Nick in order to have a baby. Offred is shocked to hear that Serena Joy suggests it (204-205). This demonstrates that Serena Joy is rebelling against Gilead laws in so she can have the baby in the end. This is also a way to save Offred’s life, because if she can’t get pregnant then there is a chance that Gilead will kill Offred. Serena Joy believes that Offred won’t do because Offred must obey Gilead. Offred hides that fact so she can eagerly rebel against Gilead.
These are just in many times that Offred shows signs of her desire to rebel against Gilead. She hates Gilead and the people who follow their rules. Before these scenes and after, Offred rebels the government and its people by sharing her thoughts about breaking multiple laws and making plans to escape Gilead. Her feelings of rebelling makes her stronger by having hope of a better tomorrow and to hope to escape.