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Blessed Be: Questions from Non-Book Readers, Answers from Book Readers

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Ok, so if pre-regime, I'm a married, non-divorced, fertile, female fan of the new regime, do I get to keep living my life with my husband and existing kids?

For the last couple of episodes I've missed the fact that the Handmaids all had some "mark" against them, so I'm wondering about the ones who didn't. I guess I'd been assuming that ANY fertile female was up for grabs and her husband got disappeared.

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5 minutes ago, kieyra said:

Ok, so if pre-regime, I'm a married, non-divorced, fertile, female fan of the new regime, do I get to keep living my life with my husband and existing kids?

For the last couple of episodes I've missed the fact that the Handmaids all had some "mark" against them, so I'm wondering about the ones who didn't. I guess I'd been assuming that ANY fertile female was up for grabs and her husband got disappeared.

Spoiler

If you didn't previously work in any of the "illegal" professions like teaching, medicine, science, etc.; didn't have any abortions (I think Gilead may have pulled all women's medical records); didn't have any criminal history; didn't belong to an "illegal" religion like Catholicism or Judaism (and I'm sure atheism/agnosticism would have also been deemed "illegal"), you *probably* would have gotten to stay with your husband and children. Essentially, you would have had to have lived a Gilead-approved life long before Gilead came into power to avoid being retroactively punished for breaking any of their rules.

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44 minutes ago, kieyra said:

Ok, so if pre-regime, I'm a married, non-divorced, fertile, female fan of the new regime, do I get to keep living my life with my husband and existing kids?

For the last couple of episodes I've missed the fact that the Handmaids all had some "mark" against them, so I'm wondering about the ones who didn't. I guess I'd been assuming that ANY fertile female was up for grabs and her husband got disappeared.

In addition to all that Chocolatine said, and this hasn't been shown on the TV show yet, but I assume will be, so read at your discretion:

Provided your husband also met all those criteria and had a job deemed

Spoiler

worthy you would stay with him and your child/children and become what's called an Econowife.  Econowives wear dresses with red/green/blue in them, since they do the jobs of wives, Martha's, and Handmaid's.  I hope we see some econowives soon.  They are considered lower class of course, but may have the best deal of all the women, except their husbands may be off fighting and dying in endless wars, and at any minute someone might want their kids or their wombs....so far though, they stay with their family, no job of course, hubby has the money, etc.

Edited by Umbelina
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In one of the first episodes, I remember a line about Gilead's forces fighting in "the ruins of Chicago".  I took that to mean that Gilead's hold on the continental United States was, at the very least, strained and maybe even tenuous in parts of the country, at least.  There is also a mention of the United Nations, but, so far anyway, no mention of a war with a foreign power.  So maybe things aren't as buttoned up as it looks?

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Pretty much boes.  Again, the book is first person and we only know what Offred knows for most of it, and that is very little.  My impression is that "the colonies" referred to in show and book are not completely controlled, and that the wars go on there.  I like to think of uprisings and resistance still going on, with areas only held by force.

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I thought I heard a few episodes ago that ceremony nights were once a week.

Last night's episode OfSteven said to her new commander's wife - "you can't be sick every month" when discussing putting off the ceremony.

Just wondering how often ceremonies were.

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12 hours ago, chocolatine said:
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Not with any certainty. IIRC, Offred thinks she's been given to another Commander's family, but it's never confirmed. BTW, in the book Offred's daughter doesn't have a name. Offred always refers to her via pronouns.

Spoiler

Actually in the book she gets to see a picture of her, so we know that she is alive.

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On April 27, 2017 at 4:37 PM, nodorothyparker said:
  Reveal hidden contents

We get nothing about Ofglen's background in the book, other than that she's a member of the resistance.  By the time Offred is playing Scrabble at night with the Commander and then involved with Nick, she's so absorbed in her own thoughts she admits that she tunes a lot of what Offred says out.  So we never actually learn what she might have been telling her or anything personal that Ofglen might have offered up about herself.

Your memory is correct.

Spoiler

Actually ... and maybe this is addressed later in this thread ... it's not Offred who runs in there and delivers the death blows to the "rapist" but rather Ofglen. When Offred shows her shock, Ofglen whispers to her that the "rapist" is actually a political, one of them, and she's killing him quickly as a mercy ... the death kicks by Ofglen as described in the book and shown in the scene are identical to what we see from Offred. And the next day is when Ofglen commits suicide as she sees the black van coming for her because her actions gave her away as a Mayday member.

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6 hours ago, MV713 said:

I thought I heard a few episodes ago that ceremony nights were once a week.

Last night's episode OfSteven said to her new commander's wife - "you can't be sick every month" when discussing putting off the ceremony.

Just wondering how often ceremonies were.

I assume once a month because the only reason to have them would be at the peak of the Handmaid's cycle. That's how the Marthas know basically when ceremony night will be -- and get excited and take special care of the Handmaid -- because they wash the clothes and know when the Handmaids are having their period (or not). 

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19 hours ago, chocolatine said:
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Not with any certainty. IIRC, Offred thinks she's been given to another Commander's family, but it's never confirmed. BTW, in the book Offred's daughter doesn't have a name. Offred always refers to her via pronouns.

Thank you!

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Thanks for this thread. I don't have Hulu so I haven't been watching but I did recently read the book. I am puzzled on some stuff in spite of reading the book. Maybe someone has a theory or maybe it has been or will be addressed in the series? I will spoiler tag my question in case it hasn't come up in the series yet.

Spoiler

Why is the wife expected to co-mingle during the copulation ceremonies and to be so close during a birth? Is this mainly to titillate and endow the commanders with even more power? That seems the obvious answer to me, but maybe the show presents it differently? 

For me this is rage inducing and scary.

Edited by SoSueMe · Reason: added a word
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The show says it, it's straight from the Bible, the handmaid passage.  That's how it was done there, and they are oh so religious.

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4 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The show says it, it's straight from the Bible, the handmaid passage.  That's how it was done there, and they are oh so religious.

I'm not a Bible scholar, is that for real or their twisted interpretation? Thanks.

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This is the Bilhah passage with the whole knees thing from the King James Version:

Quote

 

30 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.

4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.

5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.

 

I'm guessing that the Ceremony and birthing rituals are based on the "she shall bear upon my knees" bit.

I remember even as a kid thinking the Jacob/Leah/Rachel story was all kinds of fucked up. There's a lot of weird shit in the Old Testament.

Edited by Eyes High
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Also, as I recall, the Handmaids were not allowed to ever be alone with their Commanders and all intimacy or "sexiness" was deliberately removed from the ceremony. It wasn't sex. It was supposed to be less personal than using a turkey baster. Having the wife there insured that the husband didn't enjoy it at all. In fact, I'm amazed they were even able to get it up under those conditions. Everyone is fully clothed and no one really wants to be there.

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It's also to lend legitimacy to any resultant child being the child of the commander and his wife; she was there at the conception and labored alongside[ish] the handmaid, plus she really really wants a baby, so the child is, like, basically hers, right? Or so their thinking goes. 

I thought that the woman who came to Emily while she was sitting outside was a Martha, and I was surprised that a Martha's illness could disrupt the whole ceremony. I'll admit to watching sort of out of the sides of my eyes because this feels so timely that it's giving me anxiety, so clearly I missed this.

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Or their marriage was arranged for them in some way. There are definitely churches in real life that take a vested interest in pairing up single parishioners.

Spoiler

I copied this quote from the episode 5 thread. Talking about Serena and the Commander. If I recall correctly, Serena was a famous televangelist ala Tammy Faye Bakker. So she had power and influence before Gilead. Once her husband became a commander and she was no longer allowed to sing or preach, her influence and power was taken away, and she became very bitter. Her smoking is a flagrant violation of the law and she clings to it like its the last remaining vestige of her former independence. But I believe their affluence was a result of her career and not his, which may also help explain his lack of love. And he does like to treat her dismissively now that he's the boss. But their marriage wasn't arranged. She loved him even if he's incapable of love.

Edited by Searchqueen · Reason: Hiding spoilers
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9 hours ago, Pachengala said:

I thought that the woman who came to Emily while she was sitting outside was a Martha, and I was surprised that a Martha's illness could disrupt the whole ceremony.

she was wearing green. So a wife.

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4 hours ago, dleighg said:

she was wearing green. So a wife.

Right. As I said, I wasn't paying close enough attention. 

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9 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Martha's wear a dull green.  Wives wear Blue.

while in the book the wives wear blue, in the TV series the wives wear green. I not certain about the Martha's but I think it's gray.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 1.46.39 PM.jpg

Edited by dleighg

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6 minutes ago, dleighg said:

while in the book the wives wear blue, in the TV series the wives wear green. I not certain about the Martha's but I think it's gray.

It's a greenish gray.  They decided to put the wives all in the same color of Teal Blue in this production.  In the book the wives wear

Spoiler

varying colors of blue, higher ranks are darker richer colors, etc.

Concede though that teal is a combination of greens and blue.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/handmaids-tale-costume-designer-creating-shows-timely-color-coded-dystopia-978905

I agree in some light the Martha's look like they are wearing grey, but according to the costume designers, it's a shade of green.

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I was wondering about why they used natural childbirth.  On the show, at least.  It was the 1980s and they wanted the children badly, so you'd think they'd be prepared to do C-sections or rescue breach births and the like.  Was this that way in the book?

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3 hours ago, Kim0820 said:

I was wondering about why they used natural childbirth.  On the show, at least.  It was the 1980s and they wanted the children badly, so you'd think they'd be prepared to do C-sections or rescue breach births and the like.  Was this that way in the book?

I think the show has made it pretty clear so I won't spoiler tag this answer. 

Scientists and Intellectuals are BAD.  They were mostly murdered, including doctors.  So, anything scientific is not the Gilead way.  At all. 

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Apologies if someone has already asked this: Are the Wives and the Commanders allowed to have normal, healthy, fun sex even though Serena is assumed to be  "Barren"? Or is Fred required to save himself for the Ceremony? 

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On 5/10/2017 at 10:26 AM, Shangrilala said:

Right, I remember that part.  They blamed middle eastern terrorists when it turned out to be a homegrown coup - the book doesn't get into that much other than to say that they gunned down congress (I always assumed they basically massacred everybody during a state of the union, or maybe I read that?...hmmm...where's Kiefer Sutherland when you need him?) and they only really give a one line nod to the terrorists in the context that nobody thought to question and they let fear take over while they slowly stripped away rights.  Atwood sums it up pretty quickly in the book, if I recall and on the show they cover it in the conversation between Moira and June.  But when "they" take over for security of the country...how did they come to be at such a substantial size?  

I always assumed that a new regime took over entirely.  For example,  Offred says in the show as she exits her office that she doesn't think that's the army, she thinks it is a "new kind of army."  Did she mean same people, new mission and directives?  I always assumed it was entirely new regime.  A new army -- soldiers who agreed with the so-called values of the Gilead leadership.  Perhaps that's where I'm off.  Maybe instead it was current military - the US army, navy, air force - doing their jobs and following orders of the new leadership.  But we also know there is a war going on, so if that's the case, there were clearly divides in the military.  So again, that brings me back to my question of how did so many people get behind this to begin with, not just to pull off the slaughter of the government, but to also enslave the american public into Gilead - how did they have so much might behind it from the get go?  

Perhaps I'm just too optimistic in my belief that at the end of the day, common decency wouldn't allow something like this to happen in a country that has enjoyed relative freedom for nearly 250 years.  Afterall, optimism is a crucial survival mechanism.

I agree with this, and I would add: A common thread in these comments is how boring Gilead is, with so many activities forbidden and sex so restricted. That's what I find most unbelievable about the society and why I doubt whether it could really happen here, despite anything the current prez and others have done. A common theme of many dystopias is how people don't mind losing fundamental freedoms as long as they can have entertainment, whether it's high-tech movies and TV shows or gladiator-style games or more sex or recreational drugs or video games or some combination of these. You would think that whoever came up with Gilead would have books, movies, TV shows, games, and music reflecting the regime's values all over the place to distract people and reinforce the regime's values--especially for women--instead of leaving them so much time to sit around and potentially think subversive thoughts. The occasional prayer meeting and public execution and opportunity to beat "criminals" to death just isn't enough. Also, 

Spoiler

according to the book's epilogue, which takes place in 2195, Gilead is clearly in the past. Assuming the book took place in the late 80's or early 90's, that's a bit over 200 years at most, which is not long at all if we consider the empires of past times. So clearly the regime was not sustainable in the long term, though we aren't sure what if anything replaced it.

Edited by GreekGeek
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I've actually read the book, but I don't remember this thing maybe someone who read more recently would.  Are only women cleaning up waste in the Colonies? Or do male "offenders" go there too (I would hope some men are resisting this?!). I'm assuming gay men are all brutally murdered like the one we saw hanging.

Quote

Either way, the story goes out of its way to villify Christianity.   I read an interview with Atwood where she defends against charges of being anti-Christian by explaining that the folks of Gilead aren't really Christians because their values are warped, but that seems like semantics.   Few will make that leap.   

Hi Milennium! I know you posted this a while ago, but when I read it I specifically remembered this bit in the book that relates to Christians:

(moderately spoilery)

Spoiler

In the book it is established there is an Underground Railroad of Quakers who smuggle women to Canada just like they did escaping slaves in antebellum times. Moira admits that it was hard for her to hear/see their devout prayers after her experiences of the Red Center and horrors of Gilead generally, but realizes Quakers and some other believers are risking death to help women because their deep, sincere faith compels them to.

Edited by JasonCC
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I read the book years ago, and plan to re-read once this season is over. So I forget if the novel covers this or not:

Given how the law works in Gilead, prostitution is probably punished by death. But humans are humans, so prostitutes of all genders and orientations must be doing great business in this new world.

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Apologies if someone has already asked this: Are the Wives and the Commanders allowed to have normal, healthy, fun sex even though Serena is assumed to be  "Barren"? Or is Fred required to save himself for the Ceremony? 

Spoiler

In the book, Serena and the Commander essentially led separate lives, so I don't think it ever came up.  I would presume that as a legitimately married couple (not a second marriage, no divorce, etc.), they would be allowed to have sex within their marriage.

Quote

 

I read the book years ago, and plan to re-read once this season is over. So I forget if the novel covers this or not:

Given how the law works in Gilead, prostitution is probably punished by death. But humans are humans, so prostitutes of all genders and orientations must be doing great business in this new world.

 

Spoiler

In the book, it's not prostitution like we would think of prostitution.  There's no money exchanging hands, and there aren't women on street corners.   Prostitutes are reserved for high ranking officials and their guests.  They are kept out of sight at a hotel, and the prostitutes are women who for whatever reason, could not adjust to life in Gilead, but who are still young and attractive.  They dress up in "sexy" outfits from the time before (i.e. Playboy bunny outfits, cheerleader outfits, or revealing evening wear), can wear make up and drink alcohol, along with essentially having to have sex with anyone who wants them.  I think the book says that when the women get too old or are otherwise undesirable, they are sent to the Colonies.   I don't think there is any suggestion of male prostitutes, or prostitutes that are meant specifically for same sex encounters.      

Edited by txhorns79
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10 hours ago, marinw said:

Apologies if someone has already asked this: Are the Wives and the Commanders allowed to have normal, healthy, fun sex even though Serena is assumed to be  "Barren"? Or is Fred required to save himself for the Ceremony? 

I think the show tried to make it pretty clear when Serena Joy tried to help the Commander get it up.  Sex is supposedly

Spoiler

completely reserved for procreation.  Recreational sex is forbidden.  So, no, Serena doesn't get to have sex, nor do the unmarried men, or men with wives deemed "barren." 

5 hours ago, marinw said:

I read the book years ago, and plan to re-read once this season is over. So I forget if the novel covers this or not:

Given how the law works in Gilead, prostitution is probably punished by death. But humans are humans, so prostitutes of all genders and orientations must be doing great business in this new world.

Pretty sure

Spoiler

we'll see Jezebel's, the underground playground for men like the Commander, as described above, very soon.  I saw a photo of Offred in make up.  For the non rulers though?  There is nothing.

Much more spoiler-y and only in the new book with added questions: 

Spoiler

Some of the women of Jezebel-clubs apparently become quite famous, achieving almost a rock-star quality, as Gilead progresses.  I haven't read it and leaks are limited so far as to what the "10 questions and answers" are that are included on the NEW audio book, at the end of the tale. 

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19 hours ago, JasonCC said:

Either way, the story goes out of its way to villify Christianity.   I read an interview with Atwood where she defends against charges of being anti-Christian by explaining that the folks of Gilead aren't really Christians because their values are warped, but that seems like semantics.   Few will make that leap.   

The "faithful" in Gilead = true Christians similar to how those who call themselves ISIS = true Muslims.  Not at all.  

It is this gross misunderstanding in today's society that sadly makes many people consider all Muslims "terrorists."  Both ISIS and the Gilead-faithful are fanatics who have started a new (completely immoral) religion.  Gilead just based it on some (hand picked) versus from a Christian bible in an attempt to sound familiar to/fool Christians.  They could have started with any current or historical religion and any theology. Why take the time to create something brand new when you can steal from an established theology and horrifically bend it make your own rules?

This book/show is the opposite of anti-Christian - it is pro-Christian, pro-Jewish, pro-Muslim, pro-Buddhist, heck pro-Athiest/Agnostic etc.  Those with true morals would never torture people the way the Gileads do...

Unfortunately, you are correct - few will understand this (I refuse to say "make that leap" because it is not a leap, its common sense if one is at all familiar with religion and morals).

Edited by julia1130
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They could have started with any current or historical religion and any theology. Why take the time to create something brand new when you can steal from an established theology and horrifically bend it make your own rules?

Yes, and it allows for people to normalize in steps rather than imposing something foreign or new. Certainly some other non-Gilead flavored Christians had sympathies for some of the laws at first and were able to hand-wave things "well, banning abortions makes sense...don't listen to those hysterical claims about women having to stay home and be chattel, that'll NEVER happen in this day and age......"

Question related to that...am I remembering correctly that at first people at large didn't know about the Red Centers and the Handmaid system exactly? That they knew Gilead was super religious and "Biblical" but that there were not necessarily women walking around in pairs in red dresses right off the bat?

Also--to someone who has read the book more recently than me--weren't Catholics implied to be the last to be targeted in Gilead? I got the sense that priests and nuns were being executed for open defiance but the laity kind of just were absorbed into the system?  Am I remembering this correctly?

Edited by JasonCC
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I think one element here regarding religion in the story is pointing out how religion makes it easier to take concepts to ludicrous even dangerous extremes. Much like the saying - It takes religion to make good people do horrible things. The idea that there are "true" Christians/Muslims/Jews/atheists is a fallacy. Of course Gilead is a Christian society - it just happens to be a more dysfunctional, more damaging, more violent other Christian societies. It's disingenuous to strip away an integral part of the identity of any given society solely because to associate it with the violence it perpetuates can be difficult to accept. Our discomfort doesn't negate reality, it is in fact a sign that our minds are working properly (cognitive dissonance) - we're supposed to be uncomfortable because it *is* religious in nature that has gotten our protagonist into the life she finds herself in. 

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To answer that, Catholics were:

Spoiler

Absorbed into the society if they renounced all previous beliefs and converted, becoming one of the assigned positions in Gilead.  However, if they were caught or suspected of still believing in Catholicism they were killed, especially priests and nuns.  Nuns of the right age became handmaids to see if they were fertile.  I'm sure many regular Catholics were shipped off to the colonies as well, nuclear waste or picking fruit or cotton.  Black Catholics were, of course, simply sent to the Children of Ham camps near former Nebraska.  There is mention in the books that most Catholics who said they converted were suspect/didn't really, and were found out, killed, or sent away.  It's likely that most Jews were murdered, told they could immigrate to Israel or be sent to the colonies, so they choose Israel, but it was cheaper for the ship contractors to just dump them overboard so that's what happened to most.

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One of my questions was answered by reading through these posts, so thank you!  My other question was probably answered in the first episode and I just missed it, but 

Spoiler

we see Offred looking at the people hanging and the bag over their head shows what was wrong with them to deserve that treatment.  Why are doctors not good in Gilead?  And since that is the case, why were the doctors, who help with the pregnancies, permitted to survive?  Is it because they were OB/GYN's in their former life?

Lastly, I have not read the book (and to be honest, I never even heard of it until this show), but I really want to.  However, I'm debating about whether or not I should read it while I'm watching the show, or after.  Since I usually get irritated when I watch something so soon after reading it, and details are left out.  What do you all suggest?  Maybe I should read the book in between the seasons?

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On 5/8/2017 at 8:28 PM, greekmom said:

One thing I forgot to mention... did anyone notice in the show that none of the wives have any pets? 

A couple of episodes have aired since this question, but in one of the most recent episodes there was a scene inside the house where you could hear a dog barking somewhere off in the distance.  I thought it was odd, since there had been no mention of animals in any of the episodes prior to that. 

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5 minutes ago, hiccup said:

 

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we see Offred looking at the people hanging and the bag over their head shows what was wrong with them to deserve that treatment.  Why are doctors not good in Gilead?  And since that is the case, why were the doctors, who help with the pregnancies, permitted to survive?  Is it because they were OB/GYN's in their former life?

 

Spoiler

Doctors that had ever performed abortions, or done anything else that wasn't sanctioned by Gilead, were retroactively charged and executed. If you watch the scene again, you'll notice that the bag on the head of the doctor that was hanging on the wall that day had a fetus drawn on it.

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The question of what was going on with the rest of the world and birthrates keeps coming up.  I'm listening to the book right now and realized some of that was answered.

In Romania

Spoiler

they tied birthrates to raises and promotion and birth control was outlawed.

Also, and this is a huge deviation from the show,

Spoiler

he mentions that birthrates of white, northern populations were the problem, "plummeting Caucasian birthrates in the Northern clime." Non Caucasian birthrates were apparently not a problem, presumably partly because of the sterilization weapon which went awry.  

and again mentions the same other causes I listed above.

Edited by Umbelina
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Not yet asked her but being brought up in the episode threads.

About that rapist the handmaids tore apart:

Spoiler

He wasn't a rapist, he was in Mayday, and caught.  They lied.  In the book June watches Ofglen rush to the front first and deliver multiple viscous kicks to his head to kill him fast, and help in avoid pain.  June doesn't really participate in the murder, but Ofglen has dragged her forward and she tries to pretend to not be singled out.  The next day Ofglen  the black van arrives, and she kills herself to avoid giving away others in Mayday and June. Ofglen's actions were indeed noticed at the particulation.

Will the show eventually get there?  Maybe for part of that, or at least the part that the rapist

Spoiler

was innocent.

About the colonies:

Spoiler

They do exist.  In fact, the really cut short things Moira told June at Jezebel's.  One critical scene was when they give the captured women a choice of Jezebels or going to the colonies.  They show film of the colonies to them, and it's horrific.  In one film, Moira sees June's activist mother in a nuclear clean up colony, working away, and it's obvious she doesn't have long to live.

The changes in Jezebel's for the show, and I hope others add to this answer:
 

Spoiler
Spoiler

 

The clothes are all used and most don't fit.  Many have tears, and June's was missing a lot of spangles.  The make up was old and runny, and again, some/most was obviously previously used.  Shoes didn't fit, push up bras had the metal sticking out or gone completely from one side.  If we ever needed a June voice over it was then.  June was too afraid to order a regular drink, since it's been so long since she's had alcohol, and she knew she was in a very dangerous situation and had to keep her wits about her.  Oh, voice over, where were you?

When June or Moira took of their painful shoes, why not comment from Moira about "they don't care if the boots fit, they think they complete "the outfit."  Damn my toes are bloody.

The show decided to make a sexy glitzy scene with a lot of boobs, and perfect make up.  June's hair tumbled down in perfect curls and her pierced ears still hadn't grown over.  Shame on you show.

This was a male version of Jezebel's completely, down to the perfect tumbling hair.  Disgusting.  The show showed us what the MEN see, not what the women saw.

Also Moira reveals that she's fucked the commander at Jezebels and he's terrible in bed.  The commander doesn't just take his prisoner handmaids there, he's a regular.

 

 

 

Edited by Umbelina
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I don't remember the answer but are the colonies that people get shipped to part of Gilead or part of what is left of United States?  

Plus the time line is really confusing for me.  At what point did US fall into becoming Gilead to when Luke and June try to escape and June becomes a handmaid to the scene where you have the party for the Mexican ambassador? The number of children paraded not only seem to have been rapidly aged (even given the fact that a few of them would have been existing children that were already taken from the girls that were forced into becoming handmaids), the number of little ones past the toddler age seem to be extreme for a society that claims that birthrates were VERY low and that mankind was dying.  

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On 6/2/2017 at 2:02 PM, greekmom said:

I don't remember the answer but are the colonies that people get shipped to part of Gilead or part of what is left of United States?  

Plus the time line is really confusing for me.  At what point did US fall into becoming Gilead to when Luke and June try to escape and June becomes a handmaid to the scene where you have the party for the Mexican ambassador? The number of children paraded not only seem to have been rapidly aged (even given the fact that a few of them would have been existing children that were already taken from the girls that were forced into becoming handmaids), the number of little ones past the toddler age seem to be extreme for a society that claims that birthrates were VERY low and that mankind was dying.  

Spoiler

When June is assigned to the Waterfords home it's been 3yrs since the rec center. As we saw from episode 7 (the Luke centric episode), they were "testing out" the handmade program secretly, with Red Centers at the time he and June tried to escape. 

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So, I've read this book TWICE now, the latest time almost exactly a year ago, but I don't own a copy so I can't check if I am imagining or mis-remembering it.  I thought--and I could be wrong--that in the book that Moira did have a child.  That basically the details of her life were, in the show, assigned to Ofglen 1.0 (that her partner and son had passports and were able to make it to Canada but she was not.  It was because she did have a child that she ended up as a Handmaid.  

Am I fabricating this or is my memory at least partly accurate?  Thanks!

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On 6/16/2017 at 1:36 PM, OtterMommy said:

So, I've read this book TWICE now, the latest time almost exactly a year ago, but I don't own a copy so I can't check if I am imagining or mis-remembering it.  I thought--and I could be wrong--that in the book that Moira did have a child.  That basically the details of her life were, in the show, assigned to Ofglen 1.0 (that her partner and son had passports and were able to make it to Canada but she was not.  It was because she did have a child that she ended up as a Handmaid.  

Am I fabricating this or is my memory at least partly accurate?  Thanks!

Spoiler

Moira did not have a child in the book. Nor did she have a wife/partner if I remember correctly.

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On 6/16/2017 at 1:44 PM, chocolatine said:
Spoiler

Moira did not have a child in the book. Nor did she have a wife/partner if I remember correctly.

 

Thank you!  As I said, it's been a while since I read the book and I readily admit that my mind may have tried to explains things incorrectly.

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7 hours ago, hiccup said:

In the book, does Offred get pregnant?  If so, what happens during and after the pregnancy?

Spoiler

It's unclear if she is pregnant.  We have no idea what happened to her, or to her child.

More spoilery here:

Quote
Spoiler

There is an epilogue and we find out that Gilead is extinct while listening to a pompous guy in 2195 give a speech about The Handmaid's Tale to other scientists.  It was uncovered as tapes, with various musical beginnings, and the tapes were Offred's memories of what had happened to her after she somehow (again, not made clear) at least got as far as a remote house/cabin in the north.

 

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: tags

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