June Osborne (played by Elisabeth Moss) was a book editor, mother and husband. Everything changed when the United States became the Republic of Gilead and this character was forced to become a servant, giving birth to the next generation by force.
What did the name of June’s maid, “Offerd” mean? Here’s what we know about this character from Hulu’s original drama series, The Handmaid’s Tale.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ introduced viewers to characters like June Osborne
In this dystopian world, the birth rate across the world has dropped dramatically. Some have turned to religion for explanations and to Gilead’s “commanders” for solutions. Once the Republic of Gilead was formed, a new way of life was established.
Loosely based on stories from the Bible, some women have been selected to be the servants of high officials. This included the main character of this series, June Osborne, who took the job involuntarily.
In addition, this character unintentionally took on another name. It was Offred, which was used periodically throughout the original Hulu series and Margaret Atwood’s novel. The meaning behind this world, however, was created by the Republic of Gilead.
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June Osborne became “Offred” and later “Ofjoseph”
When she lived in the United States, her husband and friends called her June Osborne. In Gilead, however, this character became a maid with the name “Offred”. This name change further underscored that June Osborne was the procreative property of her commanding officer.
However, this name was subject to change, as maids sometimes changed positions. Sometimes the maids referred to each other by their real names, but opportunities for these women to speak were rare.
For several episodes, June was called by name the maid of Fred and Serena Joy Waterford – Offred. It literally meant “from Fred,” indicating that it was owned by Fred.
This character was then transferred to the home of Commander Joseph Lawrence, thus becoming “Ofjoseph”. Other maids were called “Ofglen” or “Ofwarren”. These name changes weren’t allowed, of course. Nor was it the job of the maids of the Republic of Gilead.
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Gilead has changed more than the maid’s names and outfits
There were other ways Gilead stripped the identities of his women. This was especially true for the maid, who faced many rules and restrictions. Most obvious were their outfits, which were specially designed to obstruct their vision.
To encourage conformism, some maids were physically mutilated. This includes Janine, who had one eye removed as a result of rebellious streak and using forbidden language. Emily, after it was revealed that she was a ‘gender traitor’ or part of the LGBTQ community, she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).
After a miraculous escape to Canada, June Osborne has started her life anew, this time using her real name. Episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are available to stream on Hulu.