The Power

by Naomi Alderman

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Chapters 21–23 Summary

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On a tip from some men’s rights groups, Tunde visits a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona, where a small gathering of men are protesting what they believe is injustice against men. Tunde is disappointed that nothing is happening— despite what he has heard—but just before he leaves, he hears an explosion near a fondue chain restaurant.

The blast injures several people in the mall, including Tunde, who must visit a hospital. A woman who is eight months pregnant is trapped under a concrete pillar that has crushed her leg. Tunde rushes to her aid, trying to assure her that help is on the way. However, the woman is frantic, causing her power to flare up and ignite the gasoline-like chemical that has spilled as a result of the blast. Surrounded by flames, Tunde must abandon the woman.

Tunde records the entire incident and uploads the video to his YouTube channel, which garners the attention of news programs across the country. On one of these programs, the male co-host rushes to defend the men’s rights group who has claimed responsibility for the act of terrorism, saying all they want is equality. He cites the lack of funding for men’s self-defense programs and government subsidies that fund NorthStar training camps for girls. The intended target of the attack is revealed to have been a women’s health clinic, which was successfully destroyed in the blast.

After this video goes viral, Tunde receives an email from notorious internet blogger UrbanDox, an outspoken, radical member of the growing men’s rights community online. UrbanDox wants Tunde to interview him, but only under specific conditions of secrecy. Tunde is blindfolded and driven to what appears to be a storage space, where UrbanDox waits for him.

During the interview, UrbanDox claims that he is is no way affiliated with the recent terrorist attack in Arizona. He asserts that the government purposely released Guardian Angel into the water supply, knowing it would lead to the mutation in women and girls. He suggests that men are supposed to be superior to women because women are ruthless animals who will eventually cull the male population.

Although Tunde is appalled by UrbanDox’s radical views, he is also scared of women after what happened to him in Delhi.


Mother Eve is in Bessapara before a crowd of thousands. Just as she has done in filmed events across the world, she is preparing to heal a young boy on stage. Although the crowd does not know, the boy has been carefully selected so that Mother Eve can actually fix his problem using her electrostatic power. This boy looks younger than his sixteen years, which also plays well to the crowd. He is a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair since an accident at age three. His paralysis is mild enough that Mother Eve can fix it, though her fixes do not always last.

The boy is brought before Mother Eve, where he joins in a prayer to the Holy Mother to heal him. Mother Eve performs her miracle, and the boy stands up from his wheelchair and takes a step. He is then ushered off stage. Even though her “cures” often don’t last, Mother Eve reasons that she is still doing good because people like this boy can experience at least a moment they never would have been able to without her power.

Before she leaves the stage, Mother Ever reveals her hands to the crowd, both of which have the hand of Fatima, a symbol adopted in many parts of the world to represent the Goddess. Mother Eve announces that the Goddess...

(This entire section contains 793 words.)

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and the Holy Mother are the same, and that She will bless all who follow her.

Later, Tatiana Moskalev has a private meeting with Mother Eve. Moskalev asks that Mother Eve endorse the Bessaparan army and proclaim her allegiance to their cause of war. Mother Eve asks her voice if she should do this, considering that Bessapara’s ideals are even more radical that her own. The voice repeats something said earlier, and Mother Eve films a speech urging her followed to support Bessapara.


As a newly elected Senator who sits on multiple advisory committees, Margot uses her connections to trick Jocelyn. The press has discovered that Jocelyn’s boyfriend Ryan has a visible skein, which is not socially acceptable.

Margot lies that the FBI has gathered intelligence on Ryan as part of their process to vet Margot. She tells Jocelyn that Ryan used an online pseudonym to join men’s rights activists in bashing women. Margot tells Jocelyn she needs to break up with Ryan because of his online comments, saying it might be nice for Jocelyn to date a normal boy instead.


Chapters 18–20 Summary


Chapters 24–25 Summary