Study Guide

The Handmaid's Tale Chapter 27

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Chapter 27

Soul Scrolls

  • The narrator and Ofglen stroll outside in the summertime. They are shopping, and buy fish at Loaves and Fishes. Fish is rare now, and there's some talk that they are becoming extinct.
  • The two women are hot and tired. The narrator remembers an ice cream store that used to be on this street and how she would take her daughter there.
  • The women walk over to the Wall, where there are no executed people visible today. In a way, not seeing anyone there is hard for the narrator, because at least if there's a body she can tell herself it's not Luke's. She believes Luke is imprisoned on the other side of the Wall. One of the buildings back there is the library, which is now forbidden.
  • The women turn around and walk by another store called Soul Scrolls, where you can buy prayers. They look in the window and can see each other's reflections.
  • Ofglen asks whether the narrator thinks the machines that print the prayers can really reach God. This is a dangerous question. The narrator could play it safe, but she doesn't. She says no.
  • This is like an exchange of code, and the two realize they can talk to each other openly.
  • It's a relief to the narrator to talk to someone else who's working against the system. Ofglen says it's less dangerous to talk on their walks than anywhere else, and that she's not alone. The narrator briefly wonders if Ofglen's trying to trap her, but it feels good to have hope again.
  • They get back to the busy main street and see a scary event. Two Eyes (spies) grab a man off the street, beat him, and take him away in a black van. The narrator is just glad they didn't grab her.

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