The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid's Tale Chapter 37 Summary
- They go through hallways with numbered rooms, then pass into a courtyard with a fountain. The narrator realizes where she is: it's a hotel she used to come to with Luke.
- She's astounded to see so many women and to be able to look around freely.
- She doesn't know what to think about the other women; they're breaking the law, but at least they're doing something. The Commander asks her if this reminds her of the past and she secretly disagrees. He tells her to act normal then starts taking her around and showing her off. He holds onto her the whole time.
- They go to the lobby, where he asks her for her opinion of his club.
- He tells her what they're doing there is natural, and that it serves men's needs.
- The narrator disagrees with him about whether this is a good thing for women, but she has to humor him.
- He tells her that the men are powerful guys who are there to network, while the women come from a variety of backgrounds. Some used to be prostitutes, while others were in high-powered professions.
- The Commander asks the narrator if she'd rather be one of those women than a Handmaid, and she knows she can't answer honestly. He offers to buy her a drink and she accepts, even though she's not supposed to.
- When he goes off to get drinks, the narrator looks up and sees Moira, who's wearing something like a Playboy bunny outfit. She's smoking. Eventually their eyes meet.
- Moira signals and they communicate silently, discreetly, about meeting up just like they did in the Center.
- The Commander comes back with drinks and the narrator says she has to go to the bathroom. Just crossing the hotel lobby by herself is nerve-wracking, but she keeps going.
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