The Handmaid's Tale Characters

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The Commander is a powerful figure in the Gileadean government. He is apparently sterile, although this is not confirmed because, according to law, only women are tested for being fruitful or barren.

The first time the Commander is seen breaking the strict social structure is when he sends for the handmaiden to come to his office alone at night: it is arranged like a sexual rendezvous, but she finds to her amusement that he shyly asks her to play Scrabble. As her night visits to the office increase, she becomes increasingly informal with him, sometimes even correcting him, as when she tells him "Don't ever do that again," after he nearly becomes affectionate during the impregnation ceremony.

He acts amused when she shows strength. The gifts he offers her show that he underestimates her intelligence: skin lotion, glances through magazines, and a secret trip to a house...

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This section contains 1,105 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide
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The Handmaid's Tale from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.