Larger context for TALKING ABOUT in Corpus bawe_complete/english.txt
Trible describes the maid as "an instrument, not a person" that "enhances the mistress".
This is echoed in The Handmaid's Tale through Offred's relationship with Serena Joy, who describes it as "a business transaction."
Later in the novel, when questioned by Serena "Nothing yet?", Offred's commentary gives further evidence of this: Trible, p.12 Trible p.11 Atwood, p.25 I know what she's TALKING ABOUT.
There are not many subjects that could be spoken about, between us; there's not much common ground, except this one mysterious and chancy thing. [...] She'd like me to be pregnant though, over and done with and out of the way, no more humiliating sweaty tangles, no more flesh triangles [...] Peace and quiet.
I can't imagine she'd want such good luck, for me for any other reason."