Chapter IX: Night is the 9th chapter of The Handmaid's Tale (Novel). It contains section 24.
After leaving the Commander and returning to her room, Offred decides she has to forget her old name and her past; she needs to live in the present and work within its rules. The Commander’s unorthodox behavior allows her a chance to get something from him. She remembers that underneath all of Aunt Lydia’s speeches, the real message seemed to be that men are “sex machines” and should be manipulated with sex.
Offred recalls a documentary about the Holocaust in which the former mistress of one of the Nazi guards was interviewed. Offred’s mother liked to watch such historical programs, and always explained them carefully to Offred, even when she was too young to understand. The guard’s mistress denied knowing about the death camps and maintained that the guard, her lover, was not a monster. Offred remembers that the woman committed suicide just days after the interview.
Suddenly, sitting on her bed and undressing, Offred finds the events of the night incredibly funny. Laughter threatens to erupt, and she struggles to keep it down. In the dark, she stumbles into the closet (she also calls it a cupboard), where the Latin phrase nolite te bastardes carborundorum is written. She falls asleep on the floor with her head resting in the closet.
- "SparkNote on The Handmaid’s Tale." http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/handmaid/.
- Chapter transcript: