Study Guide

Serena What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

No one is safe from Serena's wrath, and in the end, even her beloved hubby gets the axe (or the rat poison, more accurately) for betraying her. We catch up with her in a magazine interview years later and find out that she has no regrets. We can't say we're surprised—remorse has never been her thing and revenge is definitely more important to Serena than love. But what exactly are we supposed to take from all this? Is there a moral to this story?

Perhaps we're supposed to think about gender, something the book reminds us about repeatedly throughout. Serena's violence is the result of oppression—she's put upon a pedestal by a male dominated society and cast aside just because she's a woman. When faced with this incredibly unfair treatment, Serena responds with shocking acts of bloody resistance. She doesn't care how high the body count goes, so long as people know they can't treat her like something less valuable or worthy just because she's a woman.

Importantly, Serena is killed by Jacob at the very end. At first glance this might look like the male gender winning, crushing her female crusade, but upon closer inspection this doesn't appear to be true. After all, what reason does Jacob have to kill Serena? Though we don't know for sure, it's likely based on her quest to have him and his mother killed. In other words, it's Serena's murderous pursuance of another woman that ultimately causes her demise. Looks like Serena overlooked rule number one of feminism: Your sisters are not your enemies.

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