The Risk for Relationships

As I mentioned in my previous post, Offred’s relationship with the Commander continued to evolve and grow into something no one in Gilead believed to be possible. For not even the Commander himself, who knew very well the rules of the Handmaid rituals, was unable to resist his need for companionship. Since Chapter X and onwards, his actions towards Offred shifted from a cold man only using Offred’s body as a tool/vessel to repopulate Gilead, to a desperate man using searching for Offred’s affection in order to fill his need for human contact.

By (211) Offred becomes completely aware of the Commander’s need for intimacy. She remembers how he wants her to “kiss him goodnight, as if I meant it.” (209) Although while The Commander is demanding for some form of a relationship between him and his Handmaid, at that point he is using Offred as a tool for his own personal gain much like how he uses her tool to for population. He has become clear that for The Commander, there might be something more important to him than simply repopulating and sexual desire. “… sex was too easy. Anyone could just buy it… Men were turning off on sex, even.” For him, Offred fills a much larger more vital roll than just baring children or obeying to his pleasure. In the end sex is just an action and all meaning of it will be lost to both the men and women.

Though despite this need for relationships and affection being strictly against the rules, this is something The Commander is willing to risk not only his life but Offred’s life.

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