She creeps downstairs to steal a dead flower (chapter 17) - an apparently pointless gesture, but one which asserts her idea of herself, and reminds her of what I once industrial Revolutions in Western World could do'. In chapter 29, the Commander laughs at women's supposedly poor mathematical ability. This narrative strategy has the effect of creating a fittingly isolated world, where Offred is largely on her own in the midst of the totalitarian, theocratic regime of Gilead. She adds that, I tell myself it doesn't matter. Everyone is classified into a rigid hierarchy, with different uniforms in specific colours to denote their role within the state organisation. (See Social / political context Political satire Hitler and the Nazis. In business, an executive position'.
It is when she tells Nick her name (in chapter 41) that she feels a real relationship has started: I feel that therefore I am known'. Worst of all, is the deliberate dehumanising which allows brutal murder by the rgime: what I Think of the New Beetle as Offred realises (in chapters 30 and 43 This is what you have to do before you kill. Every woman must be under the control of a male. Soon after, Offred is informed that the van is there to pick her up, with her own role in the resistance apparently having been uncovered. In contrast, when she goes on her regular visit to the doctor's, (chapter 10 she is aware that he sees her as a torso only and that for the Commander she is only a whim' (chapter 25). They cannot have bank accounts, or hold property any more' (chapter 28).
Offred looses her identity in this new society. Before the new religious group of Gilead took over the world she was a very normal every day woman. The true identity of the woman known to us as Offred is unknown to the professor and to history. Her ultimate fate, for that reason, isn't known either.
The Identity in the Computer Age, Poetry: Defining Identity,