The Power

by Naomi Alderman

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Chapters 15–17 Summary

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Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 873

Archival Documents

The first document in the collection is a description of a World War II–era propaganda film, which depicts an experimental cure that supposedly would have inoculated humans from the effects of nerve gas. The video shows two rats, one of which has consumed some of the curative compound, being exposed to nerve gas. The untreated rat dies quickly, while the other continues behaving normally. During a time when gas attacks were a legitimate concern, the cure—called Guardian Angel—was touted as a way for mothers and children to have peace of mind.

The next document is a set of press notes accompanying a BBC documentary on the development of the power in women. Although Guardian Angel was mostly forgotten after World War II, its effects on the human population led to the development of skeins. The notes describe how the chemical was delivered from the Allies in the United States throughout Europe and Africa. Furthermore, various tanker ships carrying large amounts of Guardian Angel wrecked off the coast of Portugal and China. Regardless of how the compound entered the water cycle, it led to the development of skein buds in girls who were around seven years old during World War II. As time progressed, girls were born with skeins and electrostatic power. The report suggests that primitive humans may have also had skeins, but they could have been bred out over time until Guardian Angel caused this genetic feature to reemerge.

The next document is a text message conversation between the British Prime Minister and an advisor. They discuss a report that Americans are planning to release which explains how there is no “cure” to eliminate the power.

The final set of documents in the collection is a series of online advertisements. One claims that, for the low price of five dollars, girls can learn to enhance their power in ways training classes do not teach. The other two ads are for protection devices for those who want to ward off a power attack. These include a pair of rubber socks and a recalled, taser-like device that actually killed some of its users when they tried to stun someone with the power.


In Moldova, Tunde convinces Reuters to finance his trip in search of the Saudi president whom Tatiana Moskalev had said was preparing a new weapon against the power. Although Tunde does not get a picture of the president himself, he captures six photographs showing Saudi men wearing rubber suits and brandishing cattle prods, training to defeat those with the power.

Now a bonafide leader of the journalists documenting the worldwide revolution, Tunde uses his clout to start his own YouTube channel. His next destination is Delhi, India, where intense riots have been going on for weeks. After water is cut off to a part of the city during a summer heat wave, a powerful rainstorm allows tortured, angry women to exact revenge, killing men merely for having walked in wet pavement.

Large groups of protesters enter a market district once dangerous for women. Tunde joins the crowd but becomes scared after realizing the Indian army has formed a barricade ahead, armed with rubber bullets. Tunde narrowly escapes the crowd after scrambling onto the roof of a boarded-up building. Once there, he notices a woman is also on top of the roof.

After a few minutes, the woman attacks Tunde with her power, laughing maniacally as she does so. Just as she pulls down Tunde’s trousers, she is attacked by three women who have climbed over from a neighboring roof. The three women shock the attacker until...

(This entire section contains 873 words.)

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she is no longer moving.


This chapter is a message board conversation posted on a libertarian website called “Freedom of Reach.” This conversation shows the varying perspectives of men.

The users on the message board argue about the identity of Mother Eve, with one convinced that she is Alison Montgomery-Taylor based on a flimsy theory about the distance between her mouth and chin. Others counter that this theory makes no sense based on the time between Montgomery-Taylor’s disappearance and the first Mother Eve sermon video. Still others say it is a widely known fact already and that Mother Eve is collaborating with the Jewish mafia and Israeli government in an effort to destroy Christianity.

One user predicts that Mother Eve will be killed within three years’ time. After mentioning that the NSA is monitoring what is said on their message board, the users move on to discuss how they would like to join the Saudi king’s army in Moldova to fight against the “feminazi” women who think they are more powerful than men. They vent their rage with one another, suggesting that they need to have a “Day of Rage” where men showcase their own power. 

One man recounts how a young woman with a tattoo like Mother Eve’s tried to “convert” his son in a mall toy store, which enrages many of the other users. They ask for more details about this encounter so that they can “teach her a lesson she won’t forget.” The conversation ends with a user’s warning that Mother Eve and her supporters will be shown “no mercy.”


Chapter 14 Summary


Chapters 18–20 Summary