We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale


by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale Chapter 18 Summary


  • Later that night the narrator is in bed thinking about Luke. She remembers being in bed with him while she was pregnant and misses the sex they had and the love that went with it. She feels lost, just like the people she loved are lost.
  • There's no passion left; the narrator can't even pleasure herself. She thinks this society has withered her like a flower.
  • She runs through a few scenarios of what might have happened to Luke. In the first, his body lies in the grass after being hit by the shots that were fired at them when the narrator was taken.
  • In the second, he's in a prison somewhere, abused but alive.
  • In the third, the narrator sees Luke as having evaded death and capture. Despite all odds, he's now somewhere warm and safe, plotting to rescue her and their daughter so that they can be a family again.
  • The narrator knows that any of these scenarios could be true. She doesn't know what to believe anymore.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...