Asti's AP Lit & Comp 2017-2018 discussion

The Handmaid's Tale
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message 1: by Mrs. Asti (new) - added it

Mrs. Asti | 9 comments Mod
An effective literary work does not merely stop or cease; it concludes. In the view of some critics, a work that does not provide the pleasure of significant closure has terminated with an artistic fault. A satisfactory ending is not, however, always conclusive in every sense; significant closure may require the reader to abide with or adjust to ambiguity and uncertainty. In a well-supported paragraph, discuss the ending of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale". Explain precisely how and why the ending appropriately or inappropriately concludes the work. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Respond to this post using the comment link below. At the top of your post, please include your first and last name.


message 2: by Alicia (last edited Aug 11, 2017 04:18PM) (new)

Alicia Fernandez-Lopez | 10 comments Alicia Fernandez-Lopez
Unlike fairy tales, "The Handmaid’s Tale" by Margaret Atwood does not have a happy ever after. In this novel, the ending is never revealed to the readers and they are left with a cliff-hanger. It is up to the reader’s imagination to decide the faith of Offred. One can assume that Nick is a trustworthy person when he told Offred that those men were a part of Mayday and they came to rescue her from the Commander’s house. Nick comments to Offred that, “‘It’s all right. It’s Mayday. Go with them.’ He calls me by my real name. Why should this mean anything?”(Atwood 293). With Nick using her name, it gives him a better sense of credibility and it creates more of a personal connection. On the other hand, others can assume that Nick was an Eye that was called to weed out the traitors. Offred wonders, “Why shouldn’t he know about Mayday? All the Eyes must know about it; they’ll have squeezed it, crushed it, twisted it out of enough bodies, enough mouths by now. ‘Trust me,’ he says; which in itself has never been a talisman, carries no guarantee…” (Atwood 294). All in all, the ending is not completely clear. The part that frustrates readers in not knowing the unknown. The readers yearn for a closure whether it is good news or it is bad news. With Offred getting into the black van, she is leaving her faith in the hands of the unknown. The Historical Notes stated that, “As for the ultimate fate of our narrator, it remains obscure…” (Atwood 310). There are various different scenarios that could conclude this novel and each would make perfect sense but the final one will never be revealed. The last paragraph states that, “The van waits in the driveway, its double doors stand open. The two of them, one on either side now, take me by the elbows to help me in. Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can’t be helped. And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light” (Atwood 295). In this quote, both negative and positive outcomes were hinted at. The ending of the novel did not appropriately conclude the novel. Offred, the narrator, left the readers in a state of suspension and very anxious. Due to the lack of a second novel, the readers will never find out the outcome of Offred. Reading this novel is like being on a personal journey with a character and in the end, not getting a definite conclusion does not seem right. The conclusion did not uphold the impeccable standards that were rising throughout the novel. Depending on one’s perspectives, the outcome can vary among every one. Offred’s life is in the hands of destiny.


message 3: by Nataly (new)

Nataly Ruiz (nruiz27264) | 9 comments Nataly Ruiz

The ending to "The Handmaid's Tale" is one that leaves much to the imagination and ends with many unanswered questions. The Author decides to end the novel on a cliff-hanger, in which the fate of the protagonist Offred is never truly known. Was Nick telling the truth? Was he really apart of the resistance, or was he an Eye all along? Did Offred survive and get to reunite with her daughter? Because of this cliff-hanger, all these questions go without being answered, and are left for the readers to fill in the gaps. The author did this so there would be many endings. Some people may choose to believe that Nick was honest and truly was part of the resistance, and that Offred survived. While others wonder 'what if' and opt to think of the worst and decide that Offred did not survive the events in the conclusion. Of course, although the conclusion was left open for speculation, readers become frustrated at the lack of a proper ending for the story. The fate of Offred is left hanging, as said in the historical notes, "As for the ultimate fate of our narrator, it remains obscure. Was she smuggled over the border of Gilead, into what was then Canada, and did she make her way thence to England.....We do not know" (pg 310-311). The ending is a very unsatisfying one for the reader, who gets attached to the story and Offred herself. It leaves us hanging in suspense. Although the ending did not provide any much needed closure and comfort, we are going through the emotions along with the narrator. She also does not know whether this will be her end or her beginning, "Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can't be helped" (pg 295). We know just as much as Offred does. The open conclusion leaves it to the readers to decide Offred's fate, whether it be her ending or her new beginning. The ending appropriately concludes the story, to those who have the imagination for it. When it comes to the endings of books, Authors cannot satisfy everybody. Thus she leaves the outcome of Offred's story in our hands. It may be better for her to die than to survive and find out what she has been dreading- that her family, the only thing that has given her the will to live, have not survived. Or it may be better for her for her to survive and make it out to rebuild her life elsewhere. Offred's destiny lies in our hands now.


message 4: by Malbis (new)

Malbis | 10 comments Malbis Martinez
At the end of “The Handmaids Tale” Offred sees a black van pull up with the symbol of the eye and Nick tells her “It’s all right. It’s Mayday. Go with them.’ He calls me by my real name. Why should this mean anything?”(Atwood 293). When Nick calls Offred by her real name he is showing his power over her and that she can trust him to be save with the people in the van. Not knowing if she can believe him, she leaves with the van since this is her last chance of freedom. Atwood then leaves the readers with a major cliff-hanger after Offred gets into the van, which appropriately wraps up the book due to the fact that throughout the story Offred has been living in a society that has and will present uncertain challenges towards her. So, finishing the novel with an ending that no one is certain of whether Offred will be rescued or killed is excellent.


message 5: by Daniel (new)

Daniel A. | 9 comments Daniel Alvarez

To the average two-dimensional reader, a pleasant and happy-ever-after ending is preferred. Knowing that their beloved character is safe and sound and lived to the end provides a decent sense of satisfaction. However, in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” there is no happy, joyful ending; there isn’t a sad, depressing ending either. At the very end of the work, the reader is left with no closure and many questions as to whether the main character and narrator, Offred, had successfully survived and escaped the Republic of Gilead, or was caught and punished harshly. “Whether this is my end or a new beginning, I have no way of knowing…and so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.” (Atwood 295) The darkness, being failure and death, or the light, being success and life? The fate of our protagonist varies through various opinions of all of its readers. The most popular suggestion is that Offred had escaped and lived; believing that Nick and his comrades posing as fake Eyes were being honest and not actually capturing her. Support for this includes how Nick referenced “Mayday,” the code name for the resistance group opposing the Republic of Gilead. “It’s all right. It’s Mayday. Go with them…we can’t [say why Offred is being taken], [Serena Joy]…Sorry.” It is the most probable that the entire plan was to smuggle Offred out of Gilead, and that the Eyes were not really Eyes, but what is neither not probable nor probable is that if the execution was successful. They could have potentially been captured by the real authorities on the way there or encountered an obstacle that ultimately stopped them in their tracks. At that ending point of the story, at least, Offred did not know what every reader did not know at that point; what was going to happen next. This harsh cliff-hanger ending is unsatisfying for readers who grew a connection with Offred, but at the same time, is a great cliff-hanger ending for readers who may or may not have had a connection with Offred but also like theorizing and answering unanswered questions of what happens in the future. There will be readers who will be upset that there was an ‘Offred lives!’ ending, and there will be readers who will be upset that there was an ‘Offred dies…’ ending. Because of this (likely), Atwood decided it would be best for it to be up to the ones who completed the novel to ultimately decide Offred’s fate, with the absence of a potential ‘update’ from Offred later on. Many scenarios are presented in the Historical Notes, all with equal possibility. Since they are all relatively plausible, the main answer remains pending. It houses within the minds of the readers in this shocking, but powerful, conclusion to “The Handmaid’s Tale.”


message 6: by Sophia (new)

Sophia | 9 comments Sophia Robison
The ending of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The handmaid Tale, is reminiscent of Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel, The Giver. What I mean by that is both novels don’t have a conclusive, concrete ending. It has more of an ambiguous, open-ended, conclusion that leaves it up to the readers interpretation. In the end, the readers find Offred leaving the commanders house and entering a black van that will carter her to her unknown fate. If the reader feels like being optimistic, they can presume that nick is being honest with Offred when he tells her that “It’s all right. It’s Mayday. Go with them” (Atwood 293). This statement plus the addition of calling her by her real name might make readers feel like that nick is on her side and is only trying to help her. Although there is no way for her or the readers to know this for sure. She is full of doubts and suspicions of who she can trust and who she cannot. Offred herself considered the possibility of nick working for the Eye and doubts his “good intentions” despite use of the code word mayday. Either way, the reader has no true way of knowing what nick intended to happen to Offred. Offred sums this all up on the last page by saying “whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over in into the hands of strangers…”. This kind of ending after so much build up is unsatisfying. After everything Offred endured, it seems anticlimactic to never get to see what her fate was, good or bad. In the end, the reader is left with unanswered questions to a story that never reached a definitive ending.


message 7: by Lizbeth (new)

Lizbeth Aparicio | 9 comments Lizbeth Aparicio

After watching a fair amount of Disney princess movies, many readers may expect a happily ever after, feel-good ending when reading a book of trouble and hardships, as is "The Handmaid's Tale". However, readers of this particular novel do not have such luck. Upon reaching the end of the novel, they are faced with an ambiguous open ending, as well as a multitude of questions. They aren't given a straightforward answer to the question of whether or not Offred ends up okay or instead ends up in the worst of conditions. That is simply just not something that Margaret Atwood, the author, offers. Instead, the reader is forced to ponder and ask themselves whether or not Nick was worthy of gaining Offred's trust when he told her, "'It's alright. It's Mayday. Go with them.' He calls me by my real name. Why should this mean anything? (Atwood, 293). While it is revealed that Offred listened to him and got on the van that awaited her in the driveway, the events after this were not. However, despite not being sure whether or not Nick was telling the truth, Offred had no choice but to follow his instructions, taking into account the fact that her possibilities were to either get on the van and possibly be able to start anew and live a free life or stay and have absolutely no chance of getting out. It is also due to the fact that Nick used Offred's real name, which built up a sense of credibility in him, that Offred not only eventually gave in to his demands, but also that the reader is able to assume that he actually was worthy of her trust. While the details of Offred's 'escape' were not made quite clear, and it is impossible to know whether or not Nick was truly being genuine, readers can partly jump to the conclusion that she might have been granted the happy ending that they longed for, after all. However, despite this, the reader still ends up feeling unsatisfied and longing for more, wanting a definitive answer to the question of what happened to Offred.


message 8: by Yareliz (new)

Yareliz | 9 comments Yareliz Ferreira-Conclusion
In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” society was different, unfair. Offred, the main character, was a handmaid, she was “forced” to have sex with the commander of her house. I say “ forced” because like she said “…nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for,” Offred hated the place she lived, the government as a whole. She wanted to escape and find her family. The only problem was that if she attempted to escape and was caught, the penalty could be death. She wasn’t willing to risk her life. Instead she stayed and hoped to get pregnant so she wouldn’t be kicked out. The whole time while reading the book, I was hoping for her to make it out alive and escape. I even wanted to her to find her husband and daughter but that seemed harder than escaping. She didn’t really attempt to escape much, but the ending of the book pretty much said that she made it out of the house. “Whether this is the end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing..” It didn’t say if she ever made it out of the country or if she lived at all. I think that ending the book with a cliff-hanger like this is a well though out idea. It gives reader’s an opportunity to use their imagination and create their own ending. In a way it opens the minds of the readers, and also creates a stronger bond between the reader and the book. Maybe they hated it, but I’m sure they created an ending that pleased them. This way also, it doesn’t create a hassle for the writer to find an ending that pleases everyone. This way the audience chooses how to end the book, and finishes Offred’s journey however they please.


message 9: by Larry (new)

Larry Haya-Cuan | 9 comments Larry Haya-cuan

In Margaret Atwood’s, “The Handmaid’s Tale” conclusion, the narrator had escaped the house she was put in. The ending was left with a cliff-hanger. Before Offred had escaped she was finally giving into her lifestyle. “I resign my body freely, to the uses of others. They can do what they like with me. I am abject. I feel, for the first time, their true power.” Once she said this it left the readers in shock that she would just give up. But once she arrived to her house door, one of her secrets were released, leaving her in an unknown circumstance. But then while she was in her room she saw a black van. When she saw the black van approached the house she knew they were coming for her, she knew she made a mistake. Seeing it was going to be the end, or new beginning of a new life that she would start over. Turns out it was Nick being a hero and helping her escape. The story ends with her leaving the house. Did she make it across the border? Did they capture her? Who knows? The ending of Offred’s story will never be truly known. But the ending was appropriate in the sense that it left the audience hungry for more. By leaving the audience clueless it some what forced them to fill in the blank. They put in their own ending, wether they wanted her dead or alive, the readers have the last say in how Offred’s life ends.


message 10: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Gil | 9 comments Adriana Gil
The ending of the novel, "The Handmaid's Tale", written by Margaret Atwood, has left readers with multiple questions and concerns on the future of the main character, Offred. Offred is driven off in a van after assurance that she is being rescued by the only resistance member she can trust, Nick (Atwood, 293). The novel then ends with a cliffhanger which causes readers to think night and day about where she went when she finally departures, "And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light" (Atwood, 295). The audience is now left to imagine multiple scenarios determining her life afterwards, which would cause frustration and disappointment to many readers who wanted a definite ending to her fate.


message 11: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 9 comments Natalie Aziza

The ending to Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" is one that leaves the audience with a sense of ambiguity and is therefore our responsibility, as the audience, to discern what became of Offred. According to several instances she has recounted to us, black vans containing The Eye's logo is not necessarily an omen of good. They were an omen of death, for several unfortunate women and men alike. Once they were taken by the van, they were never heard from or seen again. For this reason, this makes the ending more inscrutable. It's this intrigue that the we're left with that pushes us to question the circumstances surrounding the event. We begin to ask ourselves who was responsible for her going away. What's more, it is the very same Nick that has brought the van to collect her, but before the two guardians escort her to the van, Nick asks Offred to trust him and reassuringly uses her real name to ease her. (Atwood 294). It could be that he was an Eye all along and was only using Offred to gain information about dissenters within Gilead. Or, he may have rescued her. It may have even been the Commander himself, although he did not display any behavior that would have made him a suspect. In fact, he was surprised, even, to see the guardians in his house. But we will never know for sure. This novel will remain on the uncertainty of a happy or tragic ending; it keeps the audience wondering.


message 12: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Smoorenburg | 9 comments Obviously, most readers love to see happy endings with all the protagonists safe and sound; the usual Disney esc fantasy ending. The Handmaid's Tale, however, takes a different route from the usual novel. Now what's interesting about the ending of this novel is that it isn't ecstatic and jolly but it also isn't depressing or sad. It is a sort of "cliff hanger" type ending, where the reader just thinks "Wait...what? What about this? What about that? For example, we don't really know the true situation of Offred, is she safe from the Republic or not? We really know this for sure with the final sentence of the novel itself: "And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light." I really appreciate the ending of this novel and especially on how Margaret Atwood played it out, leaving the readers with their imagination and assumptions to not only Offred's situation but the Republic, the other characters, etc. Now it's not to say that the ending isn't stand out 100% unique, brilliant, world-class, but it does suit the style of the novel and the society portrayed to the reader throughout the whole story and appropriately concludes the book as a whole.


message 13: by Valeria (new)

Valeria Batlle | 9 comments Valeria Batlle
The conclusion for Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" is not the typical conclusion where everyone, or at least the main character, ends up happy. Atwood decided to let the readers ask themselves what could have happened to Offred, the main character. The story ends with Offred being taken from the Commander's house. According to Nick she had nothing to worry about since the people taking her were from Mayday, but still, as well as Offered the readers don't know if Nick was an Eye or part of this organization. Everything is a big question. When she gets inside the van with the Eye's logo she says, "Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing. I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can't be helped." (Atwood 295) The most excellent part of this ending is that the readers feel the same uneasiness the main character is feeling. Offered does not know where she is going or who to trust, the readers never knew who Nick was exactly and the ending could have gone both ways, that van actually being the Mayday or the Eyes. Nevertheless, Atwood includes a Historical Notes section where a speaker discusses Offred's story in a conference in the future. Although some readers may find the ending unsatisfactory one at least knows that people got to read what Offered went through which was mainly the purpose for Offred's tapes. She wanted to be heard and she wanted people to know that her way of life was wrong and no one deserved to go through that. The ending does not really conclude the work but it is still an appropiate and strong conclusion that leaves the readers with a sense of suspense which is more impacting than a happy ending.


message 14: by Leonel (new)

Leonel Martinez | 9 comments Leonel Martinez
A powerful conclusion in a book allows the readers to either be at peace, or leave the wanting more. Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” left the readers wanting to know more of what happened to Offred, considering the circumstances. The book concluded with Offred being escorted by the Eyes off the commander’s property, shortly after Ofglen’s death, showing that Ofglen’s death could have been used to foreshadow Offred’s possible inevitable doom. In the very last sentence Offred says "And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light," (Atwood 295), hinting that as she is being captured it might be a way for her to gain back her old freedom, or she might be saying that she has finally met her end, but that she will not continue living someone else’s view for women. All for all the end of the novel is a brighter ending than anticipated, as one might have been waiting for her to be killed, but to be left with that feeling of cluelessness the readers anticipate the best, as she will not have to continue suffering.


message 15: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Lavina | 10 comments The ending of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” did not provide closure for the reader so they can create their own. Many books end with a happy ending but that just leaves the reader satisfied, Atwood wanted to leave the reader with a cliffhanger to leave more to the imagination. It is up to the reader to decide if Nick was a private eye, or if he provided the black van for Offred to finally leave her miserable life in Gilead. The reader is left with a challenge to act on, not even Offred knew “whether this is my end or a new beginning.” (Atwood, 295) This ending appropriately concluded the novel by letting the reader create their own ending, whether it was for Offred to reunite with her daughter and start her new life or for her end to finally come. If Atwood would have created an ending determining Offred’s fate, she would not have pleased everyone, therefore she left it up for the reader to decide.


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura Gonzalez | 11 comments Laura Gonzalez
The conclusion of "The Handmaid's Tale" leaves numerous of unanswered inquiries. The author chooses to end the novel with a mystery, in which the destiny of the character Offred is never genuinely known. Know one knows if is it accurate to say that Nick was truly part of the resistance, or would he been an Eye from the beginning? Did Offred survive and get the chance to rejoin with her little girl or was she killed? Everything is left to the imagination of the readers. I believe Atwood did this so there would be numerous endings. Some may trust that Nick was straightforward and really was a part of the resistance, and that Offred survived. While others pick to think about the most noticeably awful and choose that Offred did not survive the occasions in the conclusion. Obviously, despite the fact that the conclusion was left open for hypothesis, perusers wind up plainly disappointed at the absence of a legitimate closure for the story. The destiny of Offred is left hanging, as said in the Historical notes, "With respect to a definitive destiny of our storyteller, it stays darken. Was she carried over the outskirt of Gilead, into what was then Canada, and did she advance thus to England.....We don't have the foggiest idea" (pg 310-311). Despite the fact that the completion did not give any genuinely necessary conclusion and solace, we are experiencing the feelings alongside the storyteller. The conclusion properly finishes up the story and leaves Offred's life is in the hands of fate, aka the readers.


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Polonio | 9 comments Elizabeth Polonio

The modern writer when ending his/her novel the majority of the time ends with a joyful ending or an ending that is clear and directly to the point. Unlike Margaret Atwood who for "The Handmaids Tale" ended the book on a cliffhanger, an ending in which the reader does not know if the protagonist, Offred, lives or dies. Atwood writes, "Where this is my end or a new beginning, I have no way of knowing.. and so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light." (Atwood 295). In this quote we see the uncertainty of Offred's future after she gets into the black van because the darkness can represent either death or punishment and the light can represent freedom or euphoria. The way Atwood ends the novel is a fine representation of the book as a whole because throughout it Offred is faced with various uncertainties along with obstacles that shows the true uncertainty of the Republic of Gilead.


Mariaura Morocho | 9 comments In the Handmaids Tale, Margret Atwood leads the readers with an open ended conclusion for them to interpret what happened to Offred. Her purpose for doing so was to keep the readers entertained and be open with imagination and be creative as to what could have happened to Offred. Some readers may interpret the ending with the death of Offred, others trust Nick that he was speaking with the truth. The truth that he said she could trust him because he said her real name afterwards.


message 19: by Angelyn (new)

Angelyn Perez | 9 comments The typical cliche "happily ever after" is not a category the "The Handmaid's Tale" falls under. The conclusion to this novel leaves the reader to brainstorm the possibilities of what could have happened. In this last chapter, Offred is contemplating how to resolve end her life before the Eyes come do it for her. Unfortunately, she wasted too much time while conjuring up ideas, the black van has already come for her. Offred begins to panic when Nick comes to tell her it was Mayday. The Eyes barge in, leaving a frantic Commander and a confused Wife. They take her. "And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light." (Atwood, 295) Margaret Atwood excellently executed the conclusion in the sense that she did not hint at what officially happened next. Offred's thought process only lets readers know as much as we do. With this, the only conclusion present is the one you percieve. Was Nick telling the truth? Does Offred get shipped off to the colonies and declared an Unwoman? If Mayday did rescue her, did they reunite her with Luke and her daughter? Did Ofglen kill herself when in reality, she was going to be saved as well? "Our document, though in its own way eloquent, is on these subjects mute. We may Eurydice forth from the world of the dead, but we cannot make her answer; and when we turn to look at her we glimpse her only for a moment, before she slips from our grasp and flees." (Atwood, 311) The conclusion for this novel is appropriate because it leads the reader to ponder on the main character's fate. A cliffhanger is always frustrating and unsatisfying to some, but it allows the readers to come back for more. This cliffhanger was so well put, it will leave its remnants on their mind.


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex Azoy | 9 comments Alex Azoy

The conclusion in Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" is not your typical happy fairy tale ending, the true fate of Offred is up to the reader’s own interpretation. Offred seemingly in the end doubts whether she should’ve ever trusted Nick in the first place and truly does not know whether the Black van is her salvation or her doom. The reader is also not given any clear or concise hints as to whether it was either of the two. For those who grew connected and attached to Offred this may be seen as an anti-climactic end; however, it does fit the hopelessness and thrilling vibes of the book itself. Offred states "Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing. I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can't be helped." (Atwood 295), in this statement it is apparent that Offred came to accept whatever fate was coming her way, whether it be reunited with her family or death. The novel purposefully leaves many questions unanswered to allow the reader to make their own assumptions regarding the fate of our main character which was masterfully executed by Atwood. Overall, while the ending may not be satisfying to many the writer did achieve the ambiguity and mysterious nature that was desired and definitely left a mark on the reader.


message 21: by Angelina (new)

Angelina Navarro | 9 comments Perhaps in another parallel universe in which paracosm would become reality, happiness would not be so fleeting, moments would last forever, and endings would cease to exist. If endings did occur, then they would most likely be whole and fulfilling, giving a sense of solace, closure, and certainty. However, in a universe such as the one given by Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid's Tale, certainty is something that does not exist, nor could it ever be truly realistic in a sense that Offred, the main character, would receive even the smallest hint of release from the dark society that rules. If one were to take a second to really feel the weight of the twisted social structure that was drilled into the people, they would recognize the ending as a sort of major shift from all the peril and crudeness Offred had to go through up until that point. It is a moment of finality in which does not promise even the slightest note of safety, nor does it really allude to anything life-threatening. Hope is something that rings true in the statement made in the very last sentence of the last chapter, though, stating, "And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light." (Atwood). Having it open-ended and up to the reader's interpretation brings attention to her present tense story-telling. It makes it all the more realistic, as well, to have the character filled with angst just as much as the reader, for even she does not know her own fate, which is something that makes the book's ending both admirable and necessary.


message 22: by JoMari (new)

JoMari | 9 comments Throughout the course of the novel “The Handmaid's Tale,” we are pushed through events with unknown grasp as to why things are done in the matter that they are. So, it is no surprise that the end of this book would leave us with an undefined ending as to the fate of our narrator. An appropriate closure to a puzzling read. Once the audience finally gets a sense of understanding as to how things work in the Gilead we are led to a rapid swirl of confusion as to why the events that took place at the end of the novel end up occurring. When Serena Joy shows her distaste for Offred, followed by the appearance of the black van one can only assume it has come to take Offred due to Serena rating her out. Offred fears getting into the black van and hates herself for not perceiving the events that we're going to occur and didn’t do something before they did. Once the door of Offred's -claimed yet not really claimed as her own- room is opened the audience can't help but feel a sense of relief yet confusion as to why Nick is standing at the door and not a guard of The Eye. This unexpected appearance of character creates within us and the narrator an unknown reaction to Nicks intentions. Is he good is he not? We are un aware. Her reluctance to go in the van is only reinforced by the negative demonstrations we were given throughout the course of the novel as to what would happen to people that were taken by this said van. Nick is aimed to give her – and us- a sense of reassurance by saying that she can trust him and that she should go. We can only assume that nothing drastic will happen to her due to the fact that Nick has been the only character throughout the novel where she has felt safe being with. So, whether her fate will lead to her freedom or her demise was left unknown but it is still an appropriate end to such a form of literature in giving us a glimmer as to how things may turn out for the narrator in showing each character’s reaction to witnessing her last event mentioned in the novel.


message 23: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Younger | 9 comments Alexandra Younger
"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood is a phenomenal literary piece that needed a remarkable ending. Atwood was able to do just that. By leaving it at a cliffhanger, the ending did not disappoint. Rather it was left open to readers interpretation on what happened to Offred. Atwood wrote, "Where this is my end or a new beginning, I have no way of knowing.. and so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light" (295). This is a successful ending because nothing is set in stone. It's up to you to use your imagination and see if it leads you towards a happy ending or a dismal ending.


message 24: by Christy (new)

Christy | 8 comments Christine Diaz

In today's novels, the endings are usually cliche/happy. Margaret Atwood takes a different approach in "The Handmaid's Tale" by leaving her audience with a cliffhanger. With a cliffhanger, each reader can fantasize their own version of the perfect ending but it doesn't truly conclude the story since there's no definitive ending. No one truly knows what happened to Offred so there's no true ending.


message 25: by Fernando (new)

Fernando | 9 comments Fernando Murillo

The ending of " The Handmaids Tale" leaves the audience in a cliffhanger. In doing this the author satisfies the readers likes by letting them conclude their own ending, whether its positive or not, it allows there to be no upset ending. The cliffhanger came after the part when she got in a van with strangers who claimed that they can free her. This leaves the reader with lots of questions such as Did she make the right choice? Did anything happen to her afterwards? Overall this leaves the audience with their jaws down because they want to know what happens afterwards but that is up to the reader.


message 26: by Valeria (new)

Valeria Londono | 9 comments Valeria Londono

In Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s tale” the ending can be a huge topic to discuss in a debate about whether or not it was a good or not fully thought ending. From the no side there will be readers who will be upset because there’s too many doubts, too many unanswered questions too little information about the fate of the main character, or if Nick was lying or not, or if the main character gets to see her daughter once again. All this information is just left in out in the open for people to assume and “figure it out”. But from the other side, this can be seen as a good and fully thought ending because it leaves space for the imagination to come in place and make assumptions based on the little information people have. Also from this side the people that will support this ending will see it as a chance to make a free choice and kind of make it seem like a “free ending” in which choices (depending on what every single person believes) can sort of just put the pieces together and believe that for example Nick was not lying, the main character will be okay and she will see her daughter. Other readers of course, may say the opposite of these things.


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