The sense of constant paranoia of all citizens of Gilead is obvious throughout the opening chapters of the novel, and seems to be a passive way of the state keeping total control.
She lives on the outskirts of Gilead and rejects its values whilst still existing as an institutionalized portion of the society. The Handmaid's Tale shows how those in power control those of lower status, how they justify it, and how minority groups utilise a small amount of power to retain their identity and sanity in a totalitarian arrangement.
The way in which language is used shapes this insight incredibly and demonstrates how she can gain control. Strict beliefs or principles relating to a specific subject or discipline.
Offred's narrative makes up the first frame, while the second frame is provided by the Historical Notes, a transcript of a lecture given by a Cambridge professor Now places are known by their signs alone.
In doing this he gives power to someone else in order to fulfill these needs, this apparent when he asks Offred to his study at night to play scrabble. This is quite ironic insofar as the Commander is one of the individuals who played a role in formulating the laws that govern Gilead.