The most painful thing in this ugly incident is not the betrayal of trust. It's the ingratitude.
Aunt Lydia reveals another fanatic attitude after June's failed attempt to escape[1].

Escape from the Red Center is an event in The Handmaid's Tale.

In the novelEdit


Moira's first escape attempt from the Red Center ends in failure and she is beaten for her actions: The Aunts torture Moira by beating her feet with steel cables, the punishment for a first offense. The punishment for a second offense is beating the hands. Aunt Lydia reminds the women that hands and feet do not matter for their purpose[2].

Escape attempt Edit

Moira succeeds in taking Aunt Elizabeth captive by dismantling the toilet and using a piece of metal from it as a weapon. She ties the Aunt up, takes her clothes and pass, and then simply walks out[3]. After escaping from the Red Center, Moira makes her way to the center of town in Aunt Elizabeth’s clothes and goes to the home of a Quaker couple involved in the resistance. The Quakers put her on the Underground Femaleroad, whose members try to smuggle her out of the country, but she is caught just as she is leaving the final safe house to slip across the border in a boat[4].


Moira can't be sent back to Red Center, as her rebellious nature could be a bad influence on the other Handmaids, and is offered a choice: Go to the Colonies or become a prostitute at Jezebel's. After seeing a video of the horrific conditions in the Colonies - where Moira glimpses her old friend Offred's mother - she agrees to become a Jezebel, her spirit having been broken by the regime and figuring it's better than the alternative[4].

Moira becomes something of a legend and idol to the other Handmaids, who privately look up to her as a symbol of rebellion[5].

In the TV seriesEdit


Aunt Lydia teaches the Handmaids (including June and Moira) about the Ceremony ritual and intends to assign them to households of Gilead commanders, as Moira overhears from a conversation[1].


June and Moira attempt to escape; they take Aunt Elizabeth captive and Moira takes her clothes and pass to disguise herself as an Aunt. They make it to the train station, but June draws the attention of a Guardian who becomes suspicious. Seeing Moira has a chance to escape on the train that has just arrived, June silently gives her her blessing and Moira flees, whilst June is taken back to the Red Center[1].

Moira successfully makes it to a safe house owned by a Quaker family. They put her on the Femaleroad, but her courier is stopped and shot outside the city. [6]


Aunt Lydia has June tied down whilst Aunt Elizabeth whippes the soles of her feet as punishment. June's fellow Handmaids later secretly rally around her, giving her scraps of food they've saved from meals[1].

Moira is taken to the brothel "Jezebel's"[6].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Episode 4, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"
  2. Section 15
  3. Section 22
  4. 4.0 4.1 Novel, Section 38
  5. Section 22
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode 1.8, "Jezebels"
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