History Literature / TheHandmaidsTale

26th Mar '17 8:53:44 AM GreatWyrmGold
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*** [[SocietyMarchesOn Likely a reflection of the changing face]] (quite literally) of religion in America. Today, many predominantly white churches, and the classic American WASP "Moral Majority" as a whole, have a population growth well below replacement levels, even with a culture that "incentivizes" breeding in ways that often aren't too far removed from Gilead's. Blacks (and many other dark-skinned peoples), by contrast, have been largely exempt from this phenomenon due to a combination of higher fertility rates and the centrality of religion (and more importantly the church community) to their cultural heritage. American racism as a whole, meanwhile, has grown steadily more secular (often to the point of militant atheism) in the decades since the book was published.

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*** [[SocietyMarchesOn Likely a reflection of the changing face]] (quite literally) of religion in America. Today, many predominantly white churches, and the classic American WASP "Moral Majority" as a whole, have a population growth well below replacement levels, even with a culture that "incentivizes" breeding in ways that often aren't too far removed from Gilead's. Blacks (and many other dark-skinned peoples), by contrast, have been largely exempt from this phenomenon due to a combination of higher fertility rates and the centrality of religion (and more importantly the church community) to their cultural heritage. American racism as a whole, meanwhile, has grown steadily more secular (often to the point of militant atheism) (at least outwardly) in the decades since the book was published.
18th Mar '17 10:37:25 AM SorPepita
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* FutureImperfect: [[spoiler:The epilogue]]



* FutureImperfect: [[spoiler:The epilogue]]



* GirlOnGirlIsHot : Discussed. Moira refers to Jezebel's as "butch paradise," and the women can have sex, if they want.

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* GirlOnGirlIsHot : GirlOnGirlIsHot: Discussed. Moira refers to Jezebel's as "butch paradise," and the women can have sex, if they want.



* KnittingPregnancyAnnouncement : Subverted and played with. Serena spends hours knitting scarves with human figures in a motif along the bottom, and Offred comments that these are the only children Serena is making these days. She also hypothesizes that the scarves get sent out, unraveled back into yarn, and re-knitted.

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* KnittingPregnancyAnnouncement : KnittingPregnancyAnnouncement: Subverted and played with. Serena spends hours knitting scarves with human figures in a motif along the bottom, and Offred comments that these are the only children Serena is making these days. She also hypothesizes that the scarves get sent out, unraveled back into yarn, and re-knitted.



* NoNameGiven: Our protagonist, and all other handmaids, but if you really read between the lines, her first name is probably [[spoiler: June, implied by a line in the first chapter: "We learned to lipread, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other's mouths. In this way, we exchanged names, from bed to bed: Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June". Everyone in the list appears later in the story, except June. And then we consider that June (the month) is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth...]].

to:

* NoNameGiven: Our protagonist, and all other handmaids, but if you really read between the lines, her first name is probably [[spoiler: June, implied by a line in the first chapter: "We learned to lipread, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other's mouths. In this way, we exchanged names, from bed to bed: Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June". Everyone in the list appears later in the story, except June. And then we consider that June (the month) is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth...]].]]



* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield : The story is set in an unnamed American city, but certain clues point to it being Cambridge, Massachussetts. Specifically Harvard Square.

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* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield : WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The story is set in an unnamed American city, but certain clues point to it being Cambridge, Massachussetts. Specifically Harvard Square.
18th Mar '17 10:32:49 AM SorPepita
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** The 2017 series appears to have done away with the hints of white supremacy in Gilead as described in the novel. Not only did they want babies, the goal was ''white'' babies. In the novel, [[RaceLift Moira was white]], while African-American actress Creator/SamiraWiley plays her in the series.

to:

** The 2017 series appears to have done away with the hints of white supremacy in Gilead as described in the novel. Not only did they want babies, the goal was ''white'' babies. In the novel, [[RaceLift Moira was white]], while African-American actress Creator/SamiraWiley Samira Wiley plays her in the series.
18th Mar '17 10:30:48 AM SorPepita
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In 2017 Creator/{{Hulu}} will debut a miniseries starring Creator/ElisabethMoss as Offred, Creator/SamiraWiley as Moira, and Creator/YvonneStrahovski as Serena Joy.

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In 2017 Creator/{{Hulu}} will debut a miniseries starring Creator/ElisabethMoss as Offred, Creator/SamiraWiley Samira Wiley as Moira, and Creator/YvonneStrahovski as Serena Joy.
21st Feb '17 11:42:41 AM TheWanderer
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* TheHorseshoeEffect: The book depicts radical feminists as having colluded with far-right religious fundamentalists in the foundation of a theocratic state, owing to their common ground on issues such as pornography, prostitution etc.

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* TheHorseshoeEffect: TheHorseshoeEffect:
**
The book depicts radical feminists as having colluded worked together with far-right religious fundamentalists in on at least some issues prior to the foundation of a the theocratic state, owing to their common ground on issues state of Gilead. Specifically, both had a similar disdain for things such as pornography, prostitution etc. pornography and prostitution, among others.
** The earliest mentions and descriptions of Offred's mother make it sound like Offred was raised in a religious household, what with Offred mentioning watching Serena Joy on TV as a child, or her mother's distaste for pornography and delight in burning it. As we later find out, Offred's mother was on the radical feminist side.
18th Feb '17 1:19:23 PM SmytheOrdo
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* SocietyMarchesOn: In TheEighties, when UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan seemed like the new eternal master of American politics, backed by a wide array of MoralGuardians and (seemingly) a huge tyrannical SilentMajority, the novel seemed frighteningly plausible. Today, while the religious right is still a powerful force in modern politics its membership is aging much faster than they can be replaced, despite frantic efforts to the contrary (most notably the "Quiverfull" movement). Younger generations have no shortage of violent misogynists, of course, but (in Western countries, at least) they're becoming increasingly secularized. If America were ever to become a true NoWomansLand in the future it would probably look very different than Gilead.

to:

* SocietyMarchesOn: In TheEighties, when UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan seemed like the new eternal master of American politics, backed by a wide array of MoralGuardians and (seemingly) a huge tyrannical SilentMajority, the novel seemed frighteningly plausible. Today, while the religious right is still a powerful force in modern politics its membership is aging much faster than they can be replaced, despite frantic efforts to the contrary (most notably the "Quiverfull" movement). Younger generations have no shortage of violent misogynists, of course, but (in Western countries, at least) they're becoming increasingly secularized.secularized, not to mention anti-sex and anti-pornography sentiments in feminism are increasingly becoming frowned-upon outside of minority circles. If America were ever to become a true NoWomansLand in the future it would probably look very different than Gilead.
10th Feb '17 11:01:32 PM Juicehead_Baby
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Added DiffLines:

*** [[SocietyMarchesOn Likely a reflection of the changing face]] (quite literally) of religion in America. Today, many predominantly white churches, and the classic American WASP "Moral Majority" as a whole, have a population growth well below replacement levels, even with a culture that "incentivizes" breeding in ways that often aren't too far removed from Gilead's. Blacks (and many other dark-skinned peoples), by contrast, have been largely exempt from this phenomenon due to a combination of higher fertility rates and the centrality of religion (and more importantly the church community) to their cultural heritage. American racism as a whole, meanwhile, has grown steadily more secular (often to the point of militant atheism) in the decades since the book was published.
10th Feb '17 2:50:36 AM Juicehead_Baby
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* SocietyMarchesOn: In TheEighties, when UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan seemed like the new eternal master of American politics, backed by a wide array of MoralGuardians and (seemingly) a huge tyrannical SilentMajority, the novel seemed frighteningly plausible. A few decades down the road, not so much.

to:

* SocietyMarchesOn: In TheEighties, when UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan seemed like the new eternal master of American politics, backed by a wide array of MoralGuardians and (seemingly) a huge tyrannical SilentMajority, the novel seemed frighteningly plausible. A few decades down Today, while the road, not so much.religious right is still a powerful force in modern politics its membership is aging much faster than they can be replaced, despite frantic efforts to the contrary (most notably the "Quiverfull" movement). Younger generations have no shortage of violent misogynists, of course, but (in Western countries, at least) they're becoming increasingly secularized. If America were ever to become a true NoWomansLand in the future it would probably look very different than Gilead.
2nd Feb '17 8:47:17 PM Phys101
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* BabyFactory: How many women are viewed. A Handmaid is considered little more than a womb with two legs.

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* BabyFactory: How many women the Handmaids are viewed. A Handmaid is considered little more than a womb with two legs. A woman who indicates that she is fertile (eg. by having born a child) becomes a Handmaid. Such women are rare in this society.



** The Handmaids are given names based on the men they are assigned to, by prefixing the word "of" to the man's first name: Offred, Ofglen, Ofwarren, for example. The name indicates that the Handmaids belong to the men.



** This is a major plot point as when the Fundamentalists take over, they simply freeze all women's bank accounts so their money is gone, then make it illegal to employ them (Offred mentions [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture having all-electronic money made this easier as well]]). Then women reading is banned...

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** This is a major plot point as when the Fundamentalists take over, they simply freeze all women's bank accounts so their money is gone, then make it illegal to employ them (Offred mentions [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture having all-electronic money made this easier as well]]). Then women well]]).
** Women
reading is banned...banned, punishable by amputation.
31st Jan '17 8:17:29 AM MeninistWunderkind
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* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield : The story is set in an unnamed American city, but certain clues point to it being Cambridge, Massachussetts.

to:

* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield : The story is set in an unnamed American city, but certain clues point to it being Cambridge, Massachussetts. Specifically Harvard Square.
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