Relationships In The Handmaids Tale

1631 Words 7 Pages
When people think of someone being held against their will they associate that with people being treated like property, but that is not the case in the book Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is a story about a dystopian society where everything is regulated and people do not have the ability to make free choices. The story takes place from a point of view of a specific handmaid named Offred, a handmaid is a woman who is brought into a household for the sole reason of reproduction. They are brought in pretty much against their will, they have a choice to either be a handmaid or get sent to the colonies which isn’t any better. However, throughout reading the Handmaids tale, we are able to see that even though Offred is a handmaid and held …show more content…
As the story progresses Offred and the commander’s relationship changes from explicitly business to something deeper. This is conveyed to the reader by the commander allowing Offred to see him at night but more importantly the gifts that he gives to her. When their relationship first starts changing Offred is confused and doesn’t really understand his intentions but then in their second meeting it is clear that Offred is desired for something other than reproducing. Atwood writes “He placed his elbows on the arms of the chair, the tips of his fingers together, and looked at me. I have a present for you, he said” (156). Later in the paragraph it states “It was a magazine… I thought such magazines had all been destroyed” (156). This shows that the commander really does think more of Offred because he goes out of his way to give her this gift and also because he is breaking the rules by doing so. Rules in society prohibit such relationships, and a reader would not expect such a relationship in a story where handmaids are pretty much sex slaves. Clearly, this shows that she isn’t …show more content…
The thing to look deeper at is that Offred is in a bad situation and expected to be treated poorly, but there are numerous occasions where that doesn’t hold true. In a society with a definite hierarchy and strict policies, time after time Offred redefines it. People of power are constantly breaking rules and putting themselves at risk for someone they have complete control over. Looking at the story as a whole it is confusing but relationships change and by the end Offred is not treated like she doesn’t matter. The people of power can get new handmaids very easily in the story but this specific household doesn’t treat Offred like just an ordinary handmaid. Instead, they constantly define the expected hierarchy and treat her like someone that

Related Documents