Study Guide

The Handmaid's Tale Chapter 30

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Chapter 30


  • Yet another night in her room. The narrator sits by the window and thinks.
  • Nick walks across the garden and they look at each other for a moment yearningly. The narrator thinks about the differences between Nick and Luke.
  • The narrator has a flashback: she and Luke are in their house the night before they try to escape. He reminds her they have to do something with their cat or people will get suspicious. The narrator suddenly understands they will have to kill it. Luke does and the narrator doesn't watch.
  • She is saddened, looking back, because they thought they had so little, but compared to her situation now they really had so much.
  • The cat died for nothing because they got caught anyway. The narrator comes back to the present and wonders who turned them in. Remembering how someone had lied to them was the worst part.
  • The narrator tries to remember what her family looked like, but she can't hold onto it. She decides to pray instead.
  • She remembers how they used to pray at the Center under the Aunts' direction, how the women had to hope to be made empty so they could be filled with babies. Aunt Lydia wanted them to be in pain and Janine took it too far.
  • Now, at night, the narrator prays differently, trying to talk to God and wondering what God's name is. She asks for help, forgiveness, and assistance with temptation—how to keep from killing herself. She asks God for answers but does not receive them.

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