The Power Chapters 43–50 Summary
by Naomi Alderman

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Chapters 43–50 Summary

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Margot Cleary learns via phone call that Jocelyn, barely alive with significant injuries, has been found in the woods in Bessapara.

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Margot is overcome with emotion, realizing that she allowed, even encouraged, her daughter to come to harm. She recalls a time when Jocelyn was three when mother and daughter explored an apple orchard together. Jocelyn accidentally disturbed a swarm of wasps, and although Margot had always been afraid of the them, Margot scooped Jocelyn in her arms and ran. While Jocelyn was unharmed, Margot found seven stings on her arm.

Margot wonders what she can do to stop this cycle of violence and danger that she helped to set in motion.

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In rural Idaho, an unnamed man reports to the post office to retrieve a package addressed to him. He thinks of all the bizarre, even fraudulent packages he’s received from men involved in the men’s rights movement. Skeptical but intrigued after reading the first line in a notebook, the man takes the envelope home with him.

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Mother Eve delivers a televised speech in Bessapara urging women across the world to lend their support against the violence in the north. She asks that America officially join the fight as well. Mother Eve knows that her followers want something simple, and she is willing to give that to them.

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After learning that Jocelyn will likely never fully recover from her injuries, Margot sits for a televised interview in which she asserts that the United States will not stand for terrorism at home or abroad. Meanwhile, extremist men’s rights groups in the US are making credible threats after photos from northern Bessapara were published showing myriad atrocities against men. The consensus, however, is that these are photoshopped pictures. Margot urges the President of the United States to officially declare support for Bessapara, knowing that she stands to benefit financially from more NorthStar deployments and that the Saudi-backed insurgents have nuclear missiles.

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The narrator of the book suggests that people with a diverse set of beliefs all agreed in “those days” that a nuclear apocalypse was the only way to fix the problems in the world.

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Roxy has a conversation with Bernie on a balcony overlooking the ocean. She says that Bernie made a mistake in letting Darrell have her skein. Bernie concedes that Roxy should probably kill him, because she can’t afford to be “soft.” Roxy laughs, saying it took her far too long to learn that lesson. She tells Bernie she has met a man she likes, and Bernies asks if they will have children. Roxy remarks that if she had a daughter, the girl would be remarkably strong. After one last sip from their drinks, Roxy and Bernie descend to their underground bunker.

Apocrypha excluded from the Book of Eve

This section of the book is from a manuscript found in Cappadocia, nearly 1,500 years prior to the publishing of Neil’s book. In this document, the speaker asserts that power is “infinite” and “complex.” The speaker explains how someone can not examine an acorn, for instance, and know each component of the oak free from which it fell. The more one observes something, the speaker says, the more difficult it becomes to understand it. The complexities of life are impossible to measure, the speaker says. Human beings are similarly complex, and the speaker cautions the reader not to assume he or she will ever be able to understand anything. The speaker claims that humans do not even know themselves, that our dreams are more real than reality itself.

Neil and Naomi's Correspondence

This section is comprised of a letter from Naomi, Neil’s fellow writer to whom he had sent his completed draft of The Power.

She calls the character of Mother Eve a contortionist, comparing her to a circus performer who once caused Naomi’s hand to wave...

(The entire section is 999 words.)