The Handmaid’s Tale--List of Key Scenes/Passages

Greyed passages may not be chosen for the group commentary assignment.


Passage Description

Start and End Lines

# of Lines

pp. 3-4

Opening chapter

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium” to “Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June.”


pp. 25-27

Janine’s glorious show of pregnancy

“Those who’ve reached the counter hand their tokens across it” to “I can see only a little of her forehead, and the pinkish tip of her nose.”


pp. 27-29

Japanese Tourists

“A group of people is coming toward us” to “What else can I say?”


pp. 60-61

The Doctor Visit

“When I’m arranged I reach my hand out” to “A way out, a salvation.”


pp. 55-56

Moira and the “underwhore” party

“It’s warm for the time of year” to “We’ll all pee in our pants laughing.”


pp. 80-82

Pre-Ceremony, in the sitting room

“The room smells of lemon oil” to “I read that somewhere, once.”


pp. 93-95

The Ceremony

All of Chapter 16—“The Ceremony”


pp. 134-136

Reconstruction and post-Birth Day

“This is a reconstruction” to “But now it comes back to me, and I know I’m not prepared.”


pp. 144-146

Nazi mistress

“I remember a television program I once saw; a rerun, made years before” cut to “The program was a documentary…” to “What I remember now, most of all, is the make-up.”


pp. 232-233

The Commander takes Offred “out”

“We glide together through the darkening streets” to “Idiot, says Moira.”


pp. 248-250

Moira @ Jezebel’s

“‘When that was over they showed me a movie’” to “…because I never saw her again.”


pp. 260-261

A first time for Offred and Nick

“We go out through the kitchen…” to “I knew it might only be once.”


pp. 261-263

A revision of Offred and Nick

“I made that up” to “To cover up the sounds, which I am ashamed of making.”


pp. 267-268

“Behaving badly” with Nick

“I wish this story were different” to “I told you it was bad.”


pp. 279-281

The “rapist”

“I try to look inside him” to “But then, that’s the point.”


pp. 293-295

The end

“ ‘It’s all right. It’s Mayday” to “…or else the light.”