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Palimpsest: Novel vs. Show

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11 minutes ago, In a dream said:

I think Offred's mother wasn't included in the Hulu series for several reasons, but a major one is the time period.  The book was written in the mid 1980s and the mother was portrayed as an early feminist, fighting for abortion rights when it was illegal, etc.  The mother was kind of along the lines of Betty Freidan or Gloria Steinem.  In the 1980s book that age timeline of mother/daughter worked, but it wouldn't today (or for soon in the future).

There are still plenty of feminist/justice/human rights causes she could be an activist for in the present day. The show "modernized" other details, such as Ofglen having been married to a woman and SJ having been a bestselling author and strategist instead of a televangelist, so they could have easily done the same thing for Offred's mother if they'd wanted to include her.

17 minutes ago, In a dream said:

Also, I don't remember anything about a cat being killed in the book, thank goodness. 

When Offred and Luke were planning their escape to Canada, they knew they couldn't take their cat with them - because they were going to pretend they were going for a picnic - and they also couldn't leave the cat in the apartment because neighbors would notice that they were gone. So Luke "took care" of the cat without sharing details with Offred.

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3 hours ago, chocolatine said:

There are still plenty of feminist/justice/human rights causes she could be an activist for in the present day. The show "modernized" other details, such as Ofglen having been married to a woman and SJ having been a bestselling author and strategist instead of a televangelist, so they could have easily done the same thing for Offred's mother if they'd wanted to include her.

Wasn't Offred's mother mentioned in the show when the guy helping Luke and June get to Canada said she (the mother) had given him a vasectomy?  I can easily see how they could have shifted the mother's role a bit--instead of fighting for abortion rights, she was fighting for access to contraceptives and such.  It really, really wasn't that long ago that most forms of contraception weren't easy to get if you didn't have health insurance.

It will be interesting to see how they try to integrate her into the narrative at this point.

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I think it will be easy to integrate her.  It could also add quite a lot if they do it correctly.

We may see the camps because she's there, and we should also see the early protesters of the Gilead regime, those that said STOP, NO, do not take away our rights, or change the constitution.

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On 5/30/2017 at 8:29 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

I wonder what would have happened to women like Oprah, Diane Sawyer or CEO's of big companies and other high profile powerful women.   Would their fate be becoming a Martha or an Aunt? Would they have been able to buy their way out of the US or be hanged along the wall? 

Totalitarian societies have great flexibility about acquiring money. Powerful women would have been "allowed" to give up their wealth in exchange for their lives. Too much resistance would have been an issue, but fear can be persuasive. 

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I'm pretty sure they mentioned in the book that all powerful women with connections (other than the Evangelical types who loved the premise) fled early.  They had money, access to private pilots or yachts, money for huge bribes.  Decent men with the power/money did the same.

They, in the book I think, mostly fled to Europe.

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Some articles seem to be hinting around that we may finally see The Children of Ham this season, or the beginning of the racism issues in the book.  If so, I wonder what the midwest colonies are like, probably crop growing areas, which would fit with the whole racism side of it all.

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This was the closest forum fit to talk about this one issue--since I read the book and know it's addressed there. A co-worker of mine (who hadn't heard of much less read the book) thought it was really a well acted and directed show, but because of current politics she felt it was "too much".  She veers conservative and is religious, so I think she has a part of herself that can't enjoy it as she has a niggling feeling it's making Christianity/conservativism "look bad". I tried to explain the book is from the 1980s and Season 01 was written, filmed before Trump. 

Of course most of us know this piece of dystopia is more nuanced than simple religious-bashing (and personally I don't think you need to have read the book to see this), but I was wondering if the writers should throw a nugget or two from the book to acknowledge there were deeply religious people fighting AGAINST Gilead too. Like mention the Quakers are running an underground railroad to help refugees escape to Canada? Or maybe have someone who HELPS June tip that they are Catholic somehow (make sign of the cross or something).

ETA: I just realized there was a nun helping Moira flee last season. Maybe I'll just tell my coworker to read the book.

Edited by JasonCC
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On 5/1/2017 at 12:25 PM, The Mighty Peanut said:

It's been a long time since I read the book--once a hand maid has served her purpose, is she transferred to another home, the colonies, or is there some shitty reward for successfully being livestock?

I think she is sent to another home. If I recall correctly, if she doesn't produce a child by her third Commander, she gets sent to the Colonies, but I don't recall what happens to her once she hits menopause. Maybe she becomes an Aunt? 

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When I read the book in the 80's, I remember picturing Gilead as fundamentalist Iran transported to Boston. Atwood drew inspiration from a lot of sources. 

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2 hours ago, GreekGeek said:

I think she is sent to another home. If I recall correctly, if she doesn't produce a child by her third Commander, she gets sent to the Colonies, but I don't recall what happens to her once she hits menopause. Maybe she becomes an Aunt? 

So far the handmaids we've seen are far too young to be approaching menopause and I feel like it was the same way in the book. I would be shocked if Gilead had come up with a plan on what to do with them 20+ years down the line. If they didn't make too much trouble and actually lived long enough, I could see them becoming Marthas. I guess I could imagine Janine as an aunt one day if things played out differently with her. She's enough of a basket case to see it as a calling. 

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There's a line in the book that talks about older women. It's almost throwaway. I looked it up. To summarize, Offred says that she never sees old women, but nobody knows where they go. Since women are valued by their fertility, I guess if they're not "legal" (married to first husband and haven't committed any "crimes") they would be shipped off to the colonies. That is some scary stuff. Maybe they have the option to become Marthas?

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39 minutes ago, Sbeetle said:

There's a line in the book that talks about older women. It's almost throwaway. I looked it up. To summarize, Offred says that she never sees old women, but nobody knows where they go. Since women are valued by their fertility, I guess if they're not "legal" (married to first husband and haven't committed any "crimes") they would be shipped off to the colonies. That is some scary stuff. Maybe they have the option to become Marthas?

Colonies if they can work, if not, I'd guess they were killed.  There aren't that many Aunts, and it looks like they've chosen their most devout women to do that, perhaps people that followed Serena Joy and her ministry before Gilead?

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I have a feeling that the show is moving us into the "middle period" of Gilead, when things get MUCH worse for women.

I also have a hunch that they will introduce the racism story, and the Children of Ham colonies now, using that couple we just met.  The man will probably be shipped out to grow crops with other Black people, and the judgemental wife will become a handmaid, her child given to a rich family.

How will they include racism yet keep mixed blood children in the story?  If I had to guess, they will plan "breed the black out of them" or keep the black handmaids and mixed children because the "white blood" will purify them in the eyes of God, eventually.

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

How will they include racism yet keep mixed blood children in the story?  If I had to guess, they will plan "breed the black out of them" or keep the black handmaids and mixed children because the "white blood" will purify them in the eyes of God, eventually.

I'd need to watch again to say with certainty, but I'm pretty sure last season when June went to the doctor for her checkup, there were pictures of commanders with their wives and (presumably) handmaid-born babies on the wall, and at least one commander was black. If that's the case, then early-stage Gilead apparently didn't care about race.

It could be though that ethnic cleansing was always planned as "phase two". Maybe the early-stage masterminds like Fred figured they needed some powerful non-white men to help them overthrow the US government, but once Gilead became more established I can see them ousting all the non-white commanders to get closer to their sick ideology.

Edited by chocolatine
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Yes, in the book it was Phase One, but the showrunners were facing "So White Oscars" at the time, and were not willing to do that.  Now that they have completely abandoned a June only point of view?  They can have a diverse cast and finally include the racism by making it a phase two Gilead plan.

I still think they should have done it from the beginning, since honestly, it wasn't all June POV last season either.  Still, if they include it now, at least it will be "the rest of the story" Atwood told, where misogyny and racism went hand in hand, as they do.

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I've been wondering if I wanted to keep watching after June's dramatic escape and all too fast recapture. And I've thought of a reason. I think that this season will end with Fred facing the fate we learn befell him in the novel.  I suspect that Nick who we know is an Eye spying on Fred for Commander Pryce, is why Fred already appears to be on Pryce's shitlist. Nick could be just reporting every single potentially incriminating thing Fred does, but he could also be fabricating Fred's activities in order to imply he may have had a hand in June's escape attempt. This also potentially explains how Nick had been able to visit June during her time at the BG. He's an Eye working for Fred's superior, he has a lot more autonomy than an ordinary driver would.

I just really hope that June is somehow able to use the new way of thinking that she learned while at the Boston Globe to play a part in Fred's take down. Going back into that house will serve an excellent purpose if it lets her help destroy it from within. And if Fred is executed in a political purge, what happens to Serena. From what we know in the novel, I fear that Jezebels would be her fate. She is a very beautiful woman, a former celebrity (of sorts), and from Gilead's perspective an uppity woman who arrogantly sought to insert herself into Gilead's rise but was married to a traitor (who maybe she led into that betrayal). She sounds exactly like a perfect candidate to be a "star football player" passed around the different Jezebels. Not a fate I'd wish on anyone, even a woman like Serena. But realistic given what we know happens in the future of Gilead.

Edited by AllyB
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Fwiw I got an atm card in 1982 when I started college. There was an atm machine on campus and literally everyone I know used it. By 1985 when the book came out debt cards were accepted as currency in a lot of places including supermarkets. I don’t think they had a visa symbol on them though yet.

 

k still read magazines. I work at a print newspaper & I see children reading it.

 

cassette tapes though: no, we still have some but I don’t know why. Des rod not being able to replace them I suppose and some are personal. Still I literally cannot remember the last time I played  one. 

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Wouldn’t it be something if at the series finale, they show the Symposium, and we get a flashback to June finding a microcassette recorder with tapes in a dusty box in the Boston Globe? They then have a scene with her recording her story and hiding it there? 

It would be possible. I had one of those recorders when I was a reporter in the 90s. Newsrooms are packrat central with ancient technology. There would most definitely be one there. It would be more practical than digital ones, since there wouldn’t be a way to upload anything. 

Its not Bangor, Maine where the cassettes were discovered in the book, but that’s a forgivable edit. 

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I kept expecting June to start recording the tapes there.

Finding them in Maine isn't an issue, much like the letters those women wrote, the tapes could move around as well.

I want more than the symposium, I want the show to show us period 1, 2, and 3 of Gilead, and the fall of it.  Details!  Ha.

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This is a novel question more than a novel vs show question, but this seems the best place to put it.

Does anyone have a link to the “Questions” and answers from the newer (I think 2017) released audio book? 

I read the original and the only audio version my library has is before the Qs and As were released and I’d really like to read them. 

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1 hour ago, lynny said:

This is a novel question more than a novel vs show question, but this seems the best place to put it.

Does anyone have a link to the “Questions” and answers from the newer (I think 2017) released audio book? 

I read the original and the only audio version my library has is before the Qs and As were released and I’d really like to read them. 

If we ever found them, they are upthread somewhere. 

I wouldn't mind reading them again, even though they weren't that helpful.

Personally, I can't wait until Fred's downfall, and I really, really hope we see it this season.

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On 5/12/2018 at 8:04 PM, Umbelina said:

I kept expecting June to start recording the tapes there.

Finding them in Maine isn't an issue, much like the letters those women wrote, the tapes could move around as well.

I want more than the symposium, I want the show to show us period 1, 2, and 3 of Gilead, and the fall of it.  Details!  Ha.

I want the show to show us those periods of Gilead as well but not as June as a Handmaid. Girlfriend can only take so much. Already she's cracked.  

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On 5/12/2018 at 7:17 PM, Sbeetle said:

Wouldn’t it be something if at the series finale, they show the Symposium, and we get a flashback to June finding a microcassette recorder with tapes in a dusty box in the Boston Globe? They then have a scene with her recording her story and hiding it there? 

It would be possible. I had one of those recorders when I was a reporter in the 90s. Newsrooms are packrat central with ancient technology. There would most definitely be one there. It would be more practical than digital ones, since there wouldn’t be a way to upload anything. 

Its not Bangor, Maine where the cassettes were discovered in the book, but that’s a forgivable edit. 

I’m dying to see the epilogue play out. It’s  my favorite part of the book. Partly bc I grew up in Bangor, Maine. :) I’ve been wondering if I am going to like season 3. There has been enough stuff from the book still in season two but I am growing weary of seeing a lot of the same old, same old.

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I honestly don't know why people think it's "same old."  This isn't singling you our @Eureka!  I've seen so many say that.

  • We've now seen Econwives, which is huge, and brand new.
  • We've seen Mayday in action.
  • We've seen much more about what happened in the past, especially in The Boston Globe setting.
  • We've seen one of the colonies.
  • We've seen the Commander look as if he's on the shaky ground that will probably end him.
  • We've seen more of Canada, and the PTSD effects on our people that escaped.

That's all kind of a lot for just four episodes.  Yes, June's life continues to be hell, and those of us who have read the book, KNOW that it will get worse, not better, until she escapes or Gilead ends.  Each period of Gilead got WORSE for the women.

I also honestly can't see the logic having a different handmaid, this has always been June's story, and yes, it's expanded, but a quick end to it all would make no narrative sense (to me.)  It means more having the person we already care about be there, to see it through her eyes, her emotions, her great wit with her voice overs.

A spoiler from the episode preview:

Spoiler

June may be faking it.  Remember Aunt Lydia told her she would be killed as soon as she gives birth.  Hmmm, how to avoid that?  Why, possibly by becoming the perfect little stepford handmaid!  Is that what she's doing?  I hope so, I need snarky June.

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On 5/14/2018 at 4:13 PM, Umbelina said:

I honestly don't know why people think it's "same old."  This isn't singling you our @Eureka!  I've seen so many say that.

  • We've now seen Econwives, which is huge, and brand new.
  • We've seen Mayday in action.
  • We've seen much more about what happened in the past, especially in The Boston Globe setting.
  • We've seen one of the colonies.
  • We've seen the Commander look as if he's on the shaky ground that will probably end him.
  • We've seen more of Canada, and the PTSD effects on our people that escaped.

That's all kind of a lot for just four episodes.  Yes, June's life continues to be hell, and those of us who have read the book, KNOW that it will get worse, not better, until she escapes or Gilead ends.  Each period of Gilead got WORSE for the women.

I also honestly can't see the logic having a different handmaid, this has always been June's story, and yes, it's expanded, but a quick end to it all would make no narrative sense (to me.)  It means more having the person we already care about be there, to see it through her eyes, her emotions, her great wit with her voice overs.

A spoiler from the episode preview:

  Reveal hidden contents

June may be faking it.  Remember Aunt Lydia told her she would be killed as soon as she gives birth.  Hmmm, how to avoid that?  Why, possibly by becoming the perfect little stepford handmaid!  Is that what she's doing?  I hope so, I need snarky June.

I agree with a lot of what you say is new. By same old, same old I mean the slapping the Handmaids and Marthas around, the tempers, etc. That said, I just watched episode 2.05 and liked it a lot more than the last couple.

Edited by Eureka
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Another thing just occurred to me that makes me really recent that the show left the whole White Nationalist Racism out.

All predominantly white, 1st world nations have the exact birthrate issues that Gilead has.  Now that the world has really expanded beyond Gilead on the show, it will make it more problematic to look at the solutions THEY used, or their reasoning.

POC births, especially in 3rd world, not heavily industrialized places, were normal.  Gilead began, in part, because they whole world was quickly turning mostly Black, Indian, Asian, or some other POC, the the rulers of Gilead, they couldn't stand the idea of the White Race becoming extinct.

So, in Europe, did they just accept that, or did they use science to help their population have more children, or with the cutbacks on contaminants to the earth, did the birthrates eventually recover?

I don't know, it just seems like they took a giant bite out of Atwood's story that would play into things, if we had more details than simply the cryptic afterword, which I'm certainly hoping we get from the show.

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5 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Another thing just occurred to me that makes me really recent that the show left the whole White Nationalist Racism out.

All predominantly white, 1st world nations have the exact birthrate issues that Gilead has.  Now that the world has really expanded beyond Gilead on the show, it will make it more problematic to look at the solutions THEY used, or their reasoning.

POC births, especially in 3rd world, not heavily industrialized places, were normal.  Gilead began, in part, because they whole world was quickly turning mostly Black, Indian, Asian, or some other POC, the the rulers of Gilead, they couldn't stand the idea of the White Race becoming extinct.

So, in Europe, did they just accept that, or did they use science to help their population have more children, or with the cutbacks on contaminants to the earth, did the birthrates eventually recover?

I don't know, it just seems like they took a giant bite out of Atwood's story that would play into things, if we had more details than simply the cryptic afterword, which I'm certainly hoping we get from the show.

With the exclusion of the Children of Ham area, Moira and other African Americans being made handmaids, Omar remaining an econohusband(?) rather than being sent away, Hannah being given to a commander's family, and the inclusion of the Mexican ambassador (also of color) it seems that they are just completely ignoring that part of her book. It's come across to me, so far, like birthrates were down across all races and at least in two countries (US and Mexico). We have the ethnic Mexican ambassador trying to do a trade on Handmaids and what sounds like the US government at least entertaining the thought. It IS kind of weird that they would ignore the whole White Nationalist thing from the book but maybe they decided that they had enough nastiness as it was? Who knows. I really would've liked to have seen how that played out, though. Maybe it still could. It showrunners are seeing 10 seasons out of this (God help us all) then that could certainly come into play later. 

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4 hours ago, mamadrama said:

With the exclusion of the Children of Ham area, Moira and other African Americans being made handmaids, Omar remaining an econohusband(?) rather than being sent away, Hannah being given to a commander's family, and the inclusion of the Mexican ambassador (also of color) it seems that they are just completely ignoring that part of her book. It's come across to me, so far, like birthrates were down across all races and at least in two countries (US and Mexico). We have the ethnic Mexican ambassador trying to do a trade on Handmaids and what sounds like the US government at least entertaining the thought. It IS kind of weird that they would ignore the whole White Nationalist thing from the book but maybe they decided that they had enough nastiness as it was? Who knows. I really would've liked to have seen how that played out, though. Maybe it still could. It showrunners are seeing 10 seasons out of this (God help us all) then that could certainly come into play later. 

Yes, I think this is a big failing on the show's part. Sexism is written into law but there's no racism? We solved racism as a country? It's just improbable. In a world where women have no power, I think you'd start to see power grabs by "us vs. them" lines being drawn along race lines. That's happened at every other time in history. 

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6 hours ago, Empress1 said:

Yes, I think this is a big failing on the show's part. Sexism is written into law but there's no racism? We solved racism as a country? It's just improbable. In a world where women have no power, I think you'd start to see power grabs by "us vs. them" lines being drawn along race lines. That's happened at every other time in history. 

If you are actually desperate to keep your population up and not have your country go under, racism is something you just can't afford. You need all the breeding pairs you can get to get your population up. In the book it was just white people having less and less babies, but in the show, it's a universal problem.

There is also nothing specific in the bible about race, I don't think. And Gilead is big on the bible. Christians in general were more about unbelievers being the enemy than another race being the enemy, throughout history (of course with some exceptions).

So tank your evonomy, have your country on the verge of collapse, institute a state religion that thinks unbelievers are the enemy, but not other races and you might just solve racism, because most people suffer on the same level.

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In the book, all they cared about was the WHITE race in Gilead.

That's it. 

POC were still having tons of babies in places like Africa, South America, India.

Gilead was founded to not have the white race eliminated from the face of the earth.  The human race wasn't dying out, just the white race.  Probably because of industrialization, pollution, chemicals, the nuclear power plant melt downs, but also, because some women were choosing careers over babies, recreational sex over marriage, or putting off having children for their careers or self interest.

ETA

They didn't kill all of the Black people, and other people of color, they put them in their place, as servants to the White Race.  They were called "Sons of Ham" and set to work raising crops in their own separate colonies.

Edited by Umbelina
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In my experience many of the most vocal pro-life people are notoriously racist. They are out in force in Ireland at the moment as we're voting on the issue in 6 days and there is some unreal racism on display. 

Here's some choice quotes;
“Ireland was depopulated after the Famine,” he said. “If we allow abortion it will be like the Famine all over again. Then they’ll have to get foreigners in to run the place. You don’t see many Muslims voting for babies. Don’t get me wrong. I am not being racist. These are the facts. The native Irish will become a minority. We’ll become strangers in our own land.”

"3,500 Irish women travelled for abortions but only 2,500 of them were white Irish. So, they weren't all native Irish women. That's a reduction in the number." "Half of these women were of mixed nationalities So, maybe they come from a culture where that's expected of them to do and that's what they feel is the right thing to do. There weren't that many Irish women that's my point."

These people don't really care about abortion, they care deeply about keeping our population static and white. 

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Have I missed something, or has Serena Joy's past as a televangelist along the lines of Tammy Faye Bakker been omitted? That's what she was in the book. In all the flashbacks we've seen on the show, she's been an author and itinerant lecturer, but not a singing preacher. In the book, June mentions listening to her on TV. De-aging her made that much less plausible, unless she was a child star.

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2 hours ago, GreekGeek said:

Have I missed something, or has Serena Joy's past as a televangelist along the lines of Tammy Faye Bakker been omitted? That's what she was in the book. In all the flashbacks we've seen on the show, she's been an author and itinerant lecturer, but not a singing preacher. In the book, June mentions listening to her on TV. De-aging her made that much less plausible, unless she was a child star.

Serena Joy seems to have been a speaker and intellectual (not a singer). Of course it’s possible June saw her on tv as an adult. 

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9 hours ago, GreekGeek said:

Have I missed something, or has Serena Joy's past as a televangelist along the lines of Tammy Faye Bakker been omitted? That's what she was in the book. In all the flashbacks we've seen on the show, she's been an author and itinerant lecturer, but not a singing preacher. In the book, June mentions listening to her on TV. De-aging her made that much less plausible, unless she was a child star.

They brought it up in the first season, when June recognizes her.

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

This is a very interesting take on the epilogue of the book.

wow! It sure is. I'm embarrassed to say that I read the book, including the epilogue, quite recently, and totally missed all that. But it's very obvious, isn't it. I guess I was kind of racing through it, trying to find out "what happened" that I didn't pay enough attention. 

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7 hours ago, dleighg said:

wow! It sure is. I'm embarrassed to say that I read the book, including the epilogue, quite recently, and totally missed all that. But it's very obvious, isn't it. I guess I was kind of racing through it, trying to find out "what happened" that I didn't pay enough attention. 

I knew he annoyed the fuck out of me, so pompous, but yes, I missed it too.  I know I FELT it back then, but I didn't identify his misogyny as that.

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I'll be honest that some of it didn't register with me when I was a teenager first reading it in the late '80s, probably at least in part because, well, it was the '80s and we didn't recognize the sexism in some things the way we do now.  (Watching some of the teen movies from then with modern eyes can be quite illuminating.)  He was obviously pompous and dismissive, but no more so than one might expect from a caricature of an academic.  The thing that did stick out for me even then, though, was the professor talking about how Offred had clearly been an educated woman, immediately followed by the crack "well, as much as you can consider any graduate of American universities of the time educated."  As a college-bound kid of the time this story was supposedly taking place, I admit that one rankled a bit.

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Figured this was the best place to ask this question, it's been almost 20 years since I read the book in high school (before it got banned), but I thought I remember Hannah being put into a "Handmaid Training" place?   Something about her wearing a pink outfit that resembles the Handmaids red?  Does anyone remember this or am I imagining things?

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I think in the book she's wearing a white dress - the dress for daughters.  I think she was given to another family.

In the show, they have her in pink, and there's an aunt her escorts her out to greet Serena -- indicating future handmaid/handmaid training kind of place.  

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I understand that Hulu wants to milk it for all it's worth but in the end of the book, Offred/June's fate has to be that she got away, otherwise she couldn't make those tapes that were mentioned in the books. Plus I was under the assumption when I read the book that she was able to get away with the baby. 

I just don't want to see next season June's escape #45 and oh she's caught again!  Or baby given to Serena.

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The book says the tapes were found in a cabin in Maine.  We don't know what happened to June.  It's also not confirmed that she's pregnant in the book, she thinks she may be, but also thinks it might be wishful thinking.

Edited by Umbelina
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15 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The final voice over, I believe is taken straight from the book.  It sounded so familiar.  I'll tag it though, with the warning that this actually is a huge spoiler that the show has not, at all, addressed.

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June makes a series of tapes which are found many years later, maybe a century or so.  This odious academician misogynist gives a speech about his amazing discovery in a cabin in Maine, and all the work it took for him and colleagues to put the tapes together in a way that made some kind of sense.  They were hidden in music tapes, which is one reason why so much pop music is in the show.  ANYWAY, that voice over was on the tapes, probably verbatim from Atwood, but I can't find my copy of the book...so.  June is talking to whomever finds the tapes, saying she is believing that person into being, and all the rest, it's hopeful that Gilead ends someday, and she stays sketchy on information about her daughter, the professor speculates it's to protect the daughter, and others.  Her words are beautiful, while his are judgemental.

 

This is actually in Chapter 41, after Offred and Nick sleep together for the first time, and after this she talks about how she kept going back without Serena's insistence or knowledge.

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I wish this story were diʃerent. I wish it were more civilized. I wish it showed me in a better light, if not happier, then at least more active, less hesitant, less distracted by trivia. I wish it had more shape. I wish it were about love, or about sudden realizations important to one’s life, or even about sunsets, birds, rainstorms, or snow. Maybe it is about those things, in a sense; but in the meantime there is so much else getting in the way, so much whispering, so much speculation about others, so much gossip that cannot be veriɹed, so many unsaid words, so much creeping about and secrecy. And there is so much time to be endured, time heavy as fried food or thick fog; and then all at once these red events, like explosions, on streets otherwise decorous and matronly and somnambulant. I’m sorry there is so much pain in this story. I’m sorry it’s in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force. But there is nothing I can do to change it. I’ve tried to put some of the good things in as well. Flowers, for instance, because where would we be without them? Nevertheless it hurts me to tell it over, over again. Once was enough: wasn’t once enough for me at the time? But I keep on going with this sad and hungry and sordid, this limping and mutilated story, because after all I want you to hear it, as I will hear yours too if I ever get the chance, if I meet you or if you escape, in the future or in Heaven or in prison or underground, some other place. What they have in common is that they’re not here. By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you, I believe you’re there, I believe you into being. Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are. So I will go on. So I will myself to go on. I am coming to a part you will not like at all, because in it I did not behave well, but I will try nonetheless to leave nothing out. After all you’ve been through, you deserve whatever I have left, which is not much but includes the truth.

I bolded the parts I remember hearing in the episode. Interestingly, in the book prison and underground are listed under the places where Offred and 'her' might meet. I'm pretty sure that wasn't on the show, which implies Holly more heavily.

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I need to just buy another copy.  Thanks so much!

I knew I recognized those words, but I got where there were wrong.

I thought the book implied that Holly (or Nick's baby rather) was only a maybe, she thought it might be wishful thinking? 

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17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I thought the book implied that Holly (or Nick's baby rather) was only a maybe, she thought it might be wishful thinking? 

I agree about the baby only being hypothetical in the book. What I'm saying is that by omitting the mentions of prison and underground from the series, the producers are implying more heavily that June could be addressing Holly. I don't think she'd think of the prison as a place where she might see her baby again. Which is not to say I think it's definitely Holly as the addressee in the series, just that she's a viable option.

I think the daughter the snotty professor mentions Offred might be protecting by using what he assumes are pseudonyms, is supposed to be Offred's daughter from her marriage, i.e. show's Hannah. I don't think she was ever named in the book.

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No, Hannah wasn't named.  Even June's name wasn't definitely named.

To me it meant she hadn't escaped yet, and she was protecting everyone she knew, in case she didn't.  Maybe she did eventually, or maybe she was caught or died in that cabin.  I like to think she made it to Europe though.

Damn this show, I have wanted answers for so long, and they are just dragging it out.

I wonder if Atwood is still planning that sequel?  That would be ideal, I'd like her to continue this story, even though it was perfect as it was, I've still wondered for so long.  I had some hope that the show runners would do a good job of it, consulting with Atwood, but in one of her recent interviews she didn't seem to feel very consulted, just a vibe I got that maybe she's over this adaptation.

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2 hours ago, bijoux said:

This is actually in Chapter 41, after Offred and Nick sleep together for the first time, and after this she talks about how she kept going back without Serena's insistence or knowledge.

I bolded the parts I remember hearing in the episode. Interestingly, in the book prison and underground are listed under the places where Offred and 'her' might meet. I'm pretty sure that wasn't on the show, which implies Holly more heavily.

Interesting how context changes everything. I had forgotten that the voiceover in "Holly" was out of the book. I commented in the "Holly" episode thread that in the show's context it sounded like an apology for the slow pace of Season 2 and many viewers' disillusion. It seemed odd to say "I believe you into being...I speak, therefore you are" when June is lying there with a living, breathing Holly beside her, whereas in the book June did not even know if she were pregnant yet..
 

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I recognized some of the lines from the book, but I've never had any opinion on whether the baby that she's doing a bit of wishful thinking with Nick about could have been real or not.  She's so enthralled with Nick and the idea of it all, probably at least partially because it's something different and something to hope for even though she has to know perfectly well how it will end if she is pregnant, that she's being reckless and almost flighty about it.

I do love, given some of our discussion across the threads about how flat and indifferent Nick is being portrayed onscreen, that there's a line there about how she tells him everything, about her whole life and secrets she knows she shouldn't tell, and he seems to barely react to any of it.  Because he's so indifferent.

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2 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

I do love, given some of our discussion across the threads about how flat and indifferent Nick is being portrayed onscreen, that there's a line there about how she tells him everything, about her whole life and secrets she knows she shouldn't tell, and he seems to barely react to any of it.  Because he's so indifferent.

I also find Offred's reflection on herself interesting in light of the frustration with her character and storyline this season. 

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I wish it showed me in a better light, if not happier, then at least more active, less hesitant, less distracted by trivia. 

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