The Handmaid's Tale

How does Offred`s own prayer differ?

How does Offred`s own prayer differ?

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Offred rejects the conventionalities of approved prayer in Gilead. She isn't an atheist, but she has her own way of praying and reaching out for the things that are sacred to her. Her prayer "where I am, sitting by the window, looking out through the curtain at the empty garden. I don't even close my eyes. Out there or inside my head, it's an equal darkness. Or light" (251). Offred feels disengaged wherever she is; she's looking for God; her prayer involves searching for the light she can't find.

She also adds to the Lord's Prayer;

My God. Who Art in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within.

I wish you would tell me Your name, the real one I mean ....

I have enough daily bread, so I won't waste time on that.

It isn't the main problem.

The problem is getting it down without choking on it. (251-252)

In her unorthodox prayer, Offred reveals much about her beliefs. These beliefs would be viewed as heretical by her jailors.


The Handmaid's Tale