Character relationships

Here, you can read about the relationships between Offred and the various characters in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Offred and Nick

Offred and Nick appear to be attracted to each other from the beginning. Their first interaction has a flirtatious undertone as Nick winks at Offred, which is dangerous and not allowed. 

Though Offred is also attracted to him, she also initially feels guilty about being attracted to Nick. When they kiss in secret, she tries to convince herself that Luke would understand, but she does not manage it: “Luke, you’d know, you’d understand. It’s you here, in another body. Bullshit.” (Chapter 17, 83%). When she eventually has sex with Nick at Serena Joy’s suggestion, it is partly because she knows that she does not have many chances left to get pregnant.

In her relationship with Nick, she quickly becomes reckless, ignoring the danger: “I went back to Nick. Time after time, on my own, without Serena knowing. […] In order to do this I became reckless, I took stupid chances.” (Chapter 41, 22%). She associates being with Nick with “safety” (Chapter 41, 56%), even though she knows that this is a “delusion” and that Nick’s room is the most dangerous place she can be (Chapter 41, 56%). 

Offred finds comfort in her affair with Nick and she loses interest in helping the resistance or escaping her situation. In the end, however, Nick helps Offred try to escape f...

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