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The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale


by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale Chapter 10 Summary

Waiting Room

  • The narrator sings little songs to herself in her head—"Amazing Grace" and so on—although they're forbidden now. Very little music exists in the current world.
  • It's really hot. Soon she'll be able to wear the summer version of her outfit but still be covered up. She thinks of Aunt Lydia's lectures and about how she should behave.
  • The narrator flashes back to Moira, who wanted to have an "underwhore" party when they were young, where they'd trade cheap lingerie. They laughed and smoked and were free.
  • The narrator recalls how they acted like things were normal then, just as everybody acts like things are normal now. They ignored crimes that didn't happen to them.
  • She hears a car outside. She sits on a pillow embroidered with the word "FAITH." This is all she has to read.
  • She looks out and sees Nick followed by the Commander. She's close enough that she could throw something at him. She remembers throwing water bombs at boys with Moira back in college. She watches the Commander's car drive away and tries to define her feelings about him.

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