The Handmaid's Tale | Study Guide

Margaret Atwood

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 28 Sep. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed September 28, 2023,

The Handmaid's Tale | Chapter 45 : Salvaging | Summary



Offred is relieved that Ofglen's suicide means Ofglen was not forced to give up her secrets, although she considers that perhaps this report of suicide is a lie. When she gets back to the Commander's house, Serena Joy confronts Offred by saying, "I trusted you ... I tried to help you." Offred does not know which of her many secrets Serena Joy has discovered. She plays dumb, but Serena Joy produces her evidence: the sequined costume and lipstick on the blue cloak Offred wore to Jezebel's.


Like Offred, readers do not know which characters are trustworthy and which are untrustworthy. This tension is present throughout the narrative as Offred must decide who will keep her secrets and who will not, but the stakes are higher now that Ofglen is dead. Should Offred trust Nick, her lover? He is washing the car, seemingly oblivious. Yet Nick has been trusted with many potentially damaging secrets.

Serena's confrontation reminds us that Serena, too, is severely oppressed in this society. She has had a kind of trusting relationship with Offred that is gone now as well.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Handmaid's Tale? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!