The Handmaid’s Tale


Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Chapter 44 Summary & Analysis

Offred goes shopping. The Ofglen who accompanies her isn’t the same one as before. Offred asks what happened to Ofglen, and the new one only says that she is Ofglen. After picking up groceries, Offred suggests a trip to the Wall. She tries to indicate subtly her opposition to the regime, and comes up with a way to mention “Mayday.”
The loss of Ofglen shakes Offred out of her usual caution and passivity. Despite her lack of interest in the Resistance before, now she can’t wait to make another connection.
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The new Ofglen does not respond well and warns Offred off of saying such things. Offred becomes frightened and paranoid. But right when they part in front of her house, the new Ofglen whispers to Offred that the old Ofglen hanged herself when she saw the Eyes’ van approaching for her.
Ofglen’s death is a brutal reminder of the risks of the Resistance. Though Offred is our protagonist, Ofglen may be the book’s hero, truly courageous and willing to sacrifice herself for freedom.
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