Offred’s Growth

In, The Handmaid’s tail, it is becoming clear that due to Offred’s continuous visits made to the commander sneakingly at night they are both beginning to have feelings for each other. Or, this could be a one-way thing, where it is Offred falling for the commander. Although this is against their system and Offred’s role, the only one attempting to keep it unnoticeable is Offred. The commander is committing actions that are just a bit bizarre, to be honest. For example, “But that night, the first since the beginnings of whatever this new arrangement was between us — I had no name for it — I felt shy of him. I felt, for one thing, that he was actually looking at me, and I didn’t like it. The lights were on, as usual (…) I was conscious that my legs were hairy, in the straggly way of legs that once been shaved but have grown back; I was conscious of my armpits too, although of course, he couldn’t see them. I felt uncouth. This act of copulation, fertilization perhaps, which should have been no more to me thana bee is to a flower, had become for me indecorous, an embarrassing breach of prosperity, which it hadn’t been before. He was no longer a thing to me. that was the problem. I realized it that night, and the realization has stayed with me.”(Atwood 160) Typically a woman is shy of a man if she ACTUALLY cares about what he may think of her.. and it is more than clear that she cares about what he may be thinking of her in that very moment, as he sees how she isn’t actually taking care of herself as she knows she could. Like how she said her legs were not shaved nor her armpits, she sounds as though she regrets not doing so, FOR HIM specifically. These changes she is having emotionally is surprising. But, I think this is a positive thing for Offred, maybe she will not think of herself as a machine anymore? Even though this feeling is totally wrong, she’s actually feeling something for once in her life. “Partly I was jealous of her; but how could I be jealous of a woman so obviously dried-up and unhappy? You can only be jealous of a someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself. nevertheless, I was jealous”(Atwood 160) I loved this sentence because here I can picture Offred realizing shes worth more than what others look at her as. yes, she does not get to keep her child but, she is actually able to conceive one and experience the most important part of having a child. The baby bump stages and the kicking etc., which the commanders wife is not able to have. But, at the end what she is truly missing is a significant other which is what she is jealous of. I do not think Offred wants to spend the rest of her life alone anymore, now that she knows what it’s like to like someone. She is growing.

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