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Luke (Novel)

Luke (Novel) is a character in The Handmaid's Tale novel.

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AppearanceEdit

PersonalityEdit

StoryEdit

Before Gilead Edit

Luke is implied to be a few years older than Offred. He is married to another woman, but evidently unhappy in his relationship. Before they are married, Offred rents hotel rooms to meet Luke, cheating on his first wife. In a retrospect she regrets that she did not fully appreciate the freedom to have her own space when she wanted it. Thinking of the problems she and Luke thought they had, she realizes they were truly happy, although they did not know it[1]. Moira disapproves of her affair with Luke, saying that Offred is poaching on another woman’s property [2]. Eventually, Luke leaves his first wife to marry Offred and they have a daughter together. Luke seems to get on well with Offred's mother, despite her generally low opinion of men. He enjoys cooking[citation needed].

After the Takeover Edit

Offred learns that women can no longer legally work or hold property. Their bank accounts are transferred to their husbands or the nearest male family member. Luke tries to console her, but she wonders if he is already patronizing her. The following night, Luke wants to make love, but Offred feels uncomfortable, because the balance of power has shifted subtly. They no longer belong to each other; instead, she belongs to him. She thinks he may like this fact[2].

Going to her mother’s apartment with Luke, she finds the place in disarray and her mother gone. Luke tells her not to call the police, saying it wouldn’t do any good[3].

In the weeks and months that follow, there are protests and marches, but the army cracks down hard on dissent and the protesting stops. Offred and Luke never join any of the protests, because they are afraid for their lives and for the life of their daughter[2] .

When Luke realises his family would be targeted, due to his being divorced and remarried, they purchase fake passports in order to escape. They tell their daughter they are going on a picnic and plan to give her a sleeping pill when they cross the border so that she would not be questioned or give them away. They pack nothing in their car because they do not want to arouse suspicion[4]. Luke kills their pet cat because they do not want to leave her to starve, and leaving her to meow outside would again arouse suspicion[5].

They reach the border and give the guard their passports, which says that Luke had never been divorced. When the guard picks up the phone, they speed away in the car, and then get out and try to run through the woods[6]. Due to the failed escape attempt, Offred later suspects someone must have reported their plans. It could have been a neighbor or the man who forged their passports. [7].

In the present Edit

Offred doesn't know if he is alive or not. She occasionally daydreams about being reunited with him and often reminds herself not to refer to him in past tense, implying that Offred knows he is probably dead, but clings to the hope he's alive.

In The Testaments, it is revealed that Luke is in fact alive, and he eventually reunites with his daughter over 15 years after the takeover.

Pieixoto assumes that Luke probably isn't his real name and was actually a pseudonym used by Offred, presumably to protect his true identity[8].

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NotesEdit

References Edit

  1. Section 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Section 28
  3. Section 39
  4. Section 14
  5. Section 30
  6. Section 35
  7. Section 30
  8. Historical Notes

References Edit

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