The Handmaids Tale

Topics: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, Science fiction Pages: 3 (1159 words) Published: April 16, 2012
aandmaids TaelBrandon DenHartog
Olson / Hour 2
AP Literature and Compisition
January 10, 2012
Luke and Nick Ideal Men?
It is no secret that Margaret Atwood has a feminist point of view in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale. She makes it very clear that she is trying to bring attention to the discrimination against women in the culture of Gilead in this novel. With the exception of two male characters, Margaret Atwood portrays all of the men in the novel as selfish and heartless towards women. Even though they may not be perfect men, these two men are better than the other disrespectful men in this Gilead society. These two men are Luke and Nick. Luke and Nick are seen, through Offred’s eyes, as well as a feministic lens, as admirable compared to the other men in The Handmaid’s Tale. Nick is perceived as admirable because of his relationship with Offred, which is made obvious through several personal encounters with each other. The first time the reader foresees this relationship between Nick and Offred occurs when Offred is on her way to shopping; she sees him and wonders, “I think of how he might smell….tanned skin, moist in the sun, filmed with smoke….Then he winks” (Atwood 18). Later, they run into each other in the middle of the night making their feelings apparent towards each other when they kiss. But it’s evident that Offred has more feelings for him than that since she thinks, “How I’d like to. In Serena’s parlor…,” and she continues, “I could unbutton, and then” (Atwood 93). After Nick and Offred become better acquainted with each other through Nick’s frequent orders to signal to Offred to go see the Commander, Atwood reveals Offred’s feelings go beyond sexual attraction to sexual desire. Nick and Offred start to meet in Nick’s room for sex and she opens up to Nick and comments, “I talk too much. I tell him things I shouldn’t. I tell him about Moira, about Ofglen…” (Atwood 270). Nick is also courteous towards Offred. He comforts Offred when...

Cited: Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. 1st ed. New York: Anchor Books, 1998. Print.
Bohman, James. "Critical Theory." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, March 8, 2005. Web. 16 Jan 2012. <>.
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Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
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