The Handmaid's Tale

Instead of playing Scrabble, what does the Commander want to do with Offred this night that she visits him? Why does she say she goes along with it?

35-36 chapters

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The Commander's study looks like "normal life." There are books everywhere. She sits down, and he sits with the desk between them. He tells her that he wants her to play Scrabble with him. She wants to laugh, but she also understands why he might want such a thing. He can't do this with his wife, as games of this sort are forbidden. They play Scrabble for a while, and Offred feels that it is a luxury. Offred wins the first game, but lets the Commander win the second. He tells her it's time for her to go home, but before she departs he tells her he wants her to kiss him. She thinks about how she could take a piece of metal from the toilet, and the next time he asks her to kiss him, she could stab him with it. Truthfully, however, she only thinks that in retrospect. In the moment itself, she kisses him. He asks her, smiling "sheepishly," to kiss him "as if