The novel is filled with eyes, which represent key topics like paranoia, surveillance, and Gilead’s authority. The Eyes are the terrifying, violent and secretive enforcers of Gilead’s laws. As Offred worries that anyone she meets, from the doctor
, might be an Eye, she also sees eyes everywhere, from a tour guide’s badge to her own ankle tattoo. The most complex eye in the book is the plastered-over light socket in Offred’s room, which Offred imagines as a blinded eye. Later she learns that the previous Handmaid hanged herself from the light fixture that used to be there, so that blinded eye comes to signify death and freedom as well.