The Handmaids Tale
Margaret Atwood
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Chapter 22

The chapter begins with Offred’s return Offred from the Birthmobile. She is exhausted and too tired to do anything drags herself and lies down the bed but remains too excited to sleep. Offred thinks back to memories about Moira and their experiences in the Red Centre. Moira is described as an intelligent individual by the way she orchestrated her escape from the center. She started by causing a toilet overflow, something that caused Aunt Elizabeth came to see what was happening (Atwood, 1985). While she was busy checking the situation, Moira took a long lever, threatening Aunt Elizabeth with it, forcing her into the furnace room. In there, she took her clothes, and the gate pass and walked out the door, and from this moment, no one has ever seen or heard anything about her.  Thus, through Moira, the chapter aims to communicate Offred’s thirst for freedom.


The chapter aims to portray Moira as a brave, and outspoken individual who is eager to gain her freedom. From the description of the events, Atwood showcases that women have been reduced to objects, simply used by men, that simply move onto the next one once they are done. As a result, there needs to be a person on the frontline to champion for the rights of women, and this can be seen in Moira’s acts. She escapes from the center, away from the teachings, and the rules set by the aunts and society at large (Atwood, 1985). The courageous step can be perceived as an act towards the liberation of women. Also, the ability to stand by her decisions is something which makes the chapter unique, because previously, all the women simply followed the rules without question.

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