The Handmaid's Tale | Study Guide

Margaret Atwood

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Handmaids-Tale/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2016, July 28). The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Handmaids-Tale/

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Handmaids-Tale/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Handmaid's Tale Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed November 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Handmaids-Tale/.

The Handmaid's Tale | Chapter 46 : Night | Summary

Share
Share

Summary

Offred sits in her room and waits for the inevitable. She considers the options: burn down the house, kill herself, beg for mercy, attack Serena Joy unaware, go to Nick, or try to run away. She does nothing. Presently a black van arrives, and two Eyes come for her, accusing her of spying. However, Nick arrives at her room with them and says it is safe to go with the men—they are part of Mayday. She goes with them. The Commander asks for a warrant that is not produced, while Serena Joy questions what is happening. Rita and Cora are confused and upset as she is taken away. All seem to blame Offred for putting the family in jeopardy.

Analysis

Offred regrets her perpetual inaction during this final event. She wishes she had taken matters into her own hands and killed herself while she had the chance. However, it seems as if her inaction—her willingness to do anything, even give in, if it permits her survival—pays off, as Nick assures her that the van is Mayday, not the Eyes.

Offred ends her narrative with her characteristic offering of story options: either this is the darkness, or it is the light. She does not know for certain, and neither do readers.

Cite This Study Guide

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