Why is conversation so difficult?
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Conversation would be difficult because it's been forbidden for so long. The handmaids haven't had that kind of relationship with a man in a very long time. Men can't be trusted; women are to be used for only specific purposes; intimacy would be an absolute no-no in the land of Gilead. Even those who are married seem to lack the intimacy of simply being able to converse, to ask questions, and to be considered worth answering.
The Handmaid's Tale