Offred’s pre-Gilead husband and father of her daughter. He was previously married and had a long affair with Offred before divorcing his first wife. Though Offred passes a lot of time remembering him, he seems to have been frequently at odds with her emotions. He doesn’t seem greatly distressed when Offred loses her job and must cede all her money to him. Perhaps he lacks sympathy, or perhaps he’s sexist. After their failed escape, Offred imagines many fates for him, but never pictures him joining with Gilead, although subtext suggests that he might have.
Luke Quotes in The Handmaid’s Tale
The The Handmaid’s Tale quotes below are all either spoken by Luke or refer to Luke. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin Company edition of The Handmaid’s Tale published in 1986.).
Luke Character Timeline in The Handmaid’s Tale
The timeline below shows where the character Luke appears in The Handmaid’s Tale. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...and cried dramatically. During that time, there were two attempts on her life, and though Luke found her emotional persona funny, Offred was scared. Offred imagines that Serena Joy must be... (full context)
...memory: she remembers looking hastily through hotel rooms, when she used to meet up with Luke when he was still married to his first wife. She remembers her nervousness and confusion... (full context)
...every tiny detail, including mattress stains that suggested old lovers, and felt faint, thinking of Luke. On the third day after her arrival, she looked at the cupboard, where there were... (full context)
...waves, and her failure to become pregnant. She imagines the first apartment she shared with Luke, all empty, with no suitable clothes. She remembers running through the woods with her daughter,... (full context)
Offred remembers how her lively mother would come over to dinner with her and Luke and criticize their lives. Offred’s mother criticized Offred’s absentee father, who she found perfectly nice... (full context)
...potential. When there are bodies Offred checks to make sure none of them could be Luke. Offred thinks about the university campus, now belonging to the Eyes. She imagines the murals... (full context)
...probably dislike Offred’s deal with the Commander, since she thought Offred was wrong to take Luke from another woman. On the other hand, Moira liked women and didn’t mind stealing them. (full context)
...vans.” Generally people accepted these measures, feeling safe. But one September day, when Offred and Luke had been married for years and their daughter was three or four, Offred found that... (full context)
...the protesters. There were also some bombings, but maybe the army set them off too. Luke encouraged Offred not to go protest, and she didn’t, and became a stay-at-home housewife. Offred... (full context)
...a fire in the fireplace. She finds the Commander father-like, and maybe even friendlier than Luke. Still, she wonders the goal of his kindness. He allows her to read magazines and... (full context)
...and stiff, like an old woman. She wishes she could have a petty argument with Luke about some household chore, and passes time fantasizing about that. Today the chandelier’s old spot... (full context)
Historical Notes on the Handmaid’s Tale
...specially created as a weapon). He relates the difficulty of finding anything more about Offred, Luke, Nick, Moira or Janine, as those may have been fake names. He suspects that Offred... (full context)
...her in the window, a romantic moment they can’t consummate. Offred knows that Nick and Luke can’t be substituted for one another, and remembers Moira’s claim that people can’t control their... (full context)