The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

In the Night chapter, Offred is in her room thinking about what had happen earlier in the evening when the commander invited her to his study. I like the way she had described how she felt standing in front of the commander’s door. How she explained what “to want” means. When she said “To want is to have a weakness” [136]. And how she was curious as to knowing what was his weakness.

I found it interesting that his “weakness” was a part of what make us human. What he wanted was something that, up until now, I had not pay attention to, was the same thing  that Offred wanted; he wanted human contact. He wanted human contact that was not dictated to him. I had not realized that in this world the men loses a lot too. It is funny how this new world have taken away freedoms from both men and women. I think that he miss having a female friend to talk to. He wanted a woman’s company other than for procreation reasons. But he also, miss some thing as simple as a real kiss. It was nice to see that he said “Hello” to Offred when she walked into his room. Offred had thought to herself that saying “Hello” was “the old form of greeting” [137] that she haven’t heard in a while. To her, by him saying the simple word as “Hello” “seems out of place, comical even, a flip backwards in time, a stunt.” [137]. Then she realized that she “can think of nothing appropriate to say in return” [137].

By him inviting Offred to his room, we get a glimpse at what type of man he is. I believe he miss they way things were. I feel this way because when had asked Offred to play Scrabble with him and then he told her to “go home” and asks her if she will “be all right, as if the stairway is a dark street.” [139]. It like he wishes that he could go back in time where such things as seeing a woman off to her house, were the norm. then when Offred was about to leave he say to her “thank you…For the game…I want you to kiss me” [139]. When she gave him a peck on the lips, he he smile in a sheepish way and say “Not like that,…As if you mean it” [140]. His reaction to her first kiss is telling. It is as if he really miss having  a real kiss. It has me asking myself, does he love his wife? I guess that mates are chosen and not picked freely. So, if that is the case, then by his actions, This life is not fully geared to make men happy either.

It seem like this new Government only wants procreation and nothing else. I guess this is some what of keeping people inline with the rules and to not want to go against their oppressors. It also separates everybody, by having a color coded hierarchy way of life. But, now that this  happen, I feel like Offred, it is a comical situation. Here is a man who is head of the house hold and is allow certain freedoms, as reading, writing, and having a job, only wants something so simple, as wanting “To be played with, to be gently kissed” [144]. I understand how Offred wanted to laugh when she went back into her room. It is funny how men can create a world that is so cruel to live in and take away all of the simple joys that makes us human. To make laws that oppresses a whole gender and then at the same time want to break these laws by sneaking around. It is funny. Offred saw the Commander’s weakness. I hope that she realized that she has the same weakness and uses her new found power over the Commander wisely.

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