Angel is a male social class in the Republic of Gilead, mentioned only in the Novel and 1990 film. They are among the highest ranking males, second only to Commanders. Angels are soldiers that serve on the front lines, as opposed to the Guardians of the Faith, who aren't "real soldiers" and are instead used for "routine policing and other menial functions".[1]. Medical personnel can also be Angels[2]. It should be noted that this distinction does not exist in the TV series, as the rank of Angel has never been mentioned.

Role[edit | edit source]

Angels fight Gilead's wars on the front lines, and conduct counterinsurgency against rebel groups such as "Baptist guerrillas" in the Appalachian Highlands[3]. They also guard the Rachel and Leah Center.

They are rewarded for their loyalty and devout belief in Gilead with their high status. Angels are allowed many privileges, including being allowed to have a Wife. Some Angels are even permitted to have a Handmaid, though this usually only happens after they served Gilead well for several years.

Angels are seen as heroes in Gilead, defending the citizens and their way of life, and bringing the 'wrath of God' onto the nation's enemies. However, the Angels (along with the Guardians) have committed numerous atrocities and crimes against humanity against the American people by killing innocent and unarmed civilians the Gilead regime deems as "un-Godly", "traitors", "worthless" or "gender traitors".

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In the Novel and 1990 film, the Angels use Biblical names for their military units. For example, the "Angels of the Apocalypse, 4th Division", and "21st Battalion of the Angels of Light".
  • Guardians who serve well are eventually promoted to the rank of Angel, and so there are some Angels who are young men.
  • Angels are usually very devoted to the regime, as evidenced by the Angels not being swayed by Ofglen's attempts to seduce one to try and escape.
  • Offred describes one Angel as barely looking out of his teens and guesses that he was recently promoted. However, it's implied that most Angels are slightly older.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Novel, II Shopping, Section 4
  2. Novel, VI Household, Section 15
  3. Novel, Page 82
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