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Tara Ariano

S01.E01: Offred

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On 4/27/2017 at 2:40 PM, nodorothyparker said:

The particicution of the accused rapist...I somehow was never able to fully wrap my head around the reality that TPTB were offering it up as a physical outlet for all the rage and hurt of these women they've ground down...

Not sure if you mean this level of analysis wasn't in the book, but

Spoiler

it's contained in the "Historical Notes" at the end of the novel (the transcript of the scholarly conference in 2195). But you may know that, and are still saying the show makes it work for you in a way that the novel didn't, which I get, even though I thought Atwood handled it beautifully in the novel.

Hoping it's appropriate to respond to this particular point in this topic and not the Novel vs. Show one, since it was raised in this topic...

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6 minutes ago, eurekagirl mOo said:

I bit the bullet and got HULU just to see this. Currently reading the book also. SO SO SO Good!!!

I did the same, I read the book between installments of the episodes released each week.  I thought the book was a very easy read, strange and eerie but easy.  This may propel me to read some other Atwood books.

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10 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I did the same, I read the book between installments of the episodes released each week.  I thought the book was a very easy read, strange and eerie but easy.  This may propel me to read some other Atwood books.

I read a lot of her books back in the day. This one is by far the best, imo. It's the only one I've ever wanted to reread every so often.

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2 hours ago, Eureka said:

I read a lot of her books back in the day. This one is by far the best, imo. It's the only one I've ever wanted to reread every so often.

I've only read three of her other books, the novels The Blind Assassin and The Heart Goes Last, and the short story collection Stone Mattress. For me, none of them came close to The Handmaid's Tale. That's Atwood's Catch-22, as far as I'm concerned.

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I agree. I've read a bunch of her stuff, and most of it did very little for me. I didn't hate The Robber Bride. I really enjoyed Oryx & Crake (and one of these days, I really must get on reading the sequels). But The Handmaid's Tale really is in a class all by itself.

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On ‎27‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 8:40 PM, nodorothyparker said:

The particicution of the accused rapist, for example, has always just been one of those things that happens in the books to demonstrate the brutality of this new society.  But I somehow was never able to fully wrap my head around the reality that TPTB were offering it up as a physical outlet for all the rage and hurt of these women they've ground down while making them complicit in the new order as well.

 I couldn't help wondering what (if anything) the "rapist" was really guilty of (it's not as if the Handmaids would be allowed to see the trial, if he even got one) - even more effective if not only do they make the Handmaids act as executioners, but that they're actually executing a possible ally. But the whole "Divide & Rule" angle was very true to how oppressive regimes really operate - if anyone could be informing on you, it becomes almost impossible to be sure anyone offering to help isn't trying to trap you. As was the way that it was predominantly women oppressing Offred - the Matron, the Wife, the Housekeeper - all making the idea of solidarity amongst the women an unlikely prospect, or at least a very risky one.

One thing that did nag me a little was the timeline - I find it hard to believe that the Gilead regime would be so firmly established in just 5 years. I guess we don't (yet) know what the disaster was that kicked off the infertility plague and the subsequent overturning of society, but I would imagine going from a free society to a completely repressive one would take longer than that. But that's a pretty small nitpick.

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49 minutes ago, John Potts said:

 I couldn't help wondering what (if anything) the "rapist" was really guilty of (it's not as if the Handmaids would be allowed to see the trial, if he even got one) - even more effective if not only do they make the Handmaids act as executioners, but that they're actually executing a possible ally.

According to the book,

Spoiler

that's exactly what happened. The man was a resistance fighter (i.e. trying to liberate the Handmaids) who was caught. In the book, Ofglen, who is also part of the resistance, deals him a deadly blow to the head so that he doesn't have to suffer a prolonged death by beating.

 

49 minutes ago, John Potts said:

One thing that did nag me a little was the timeline - I find it hard to believe that the Gilead regime would be so firmly established in just 5 years. I guess we don't (yet) know what the disaster was that kicked off the infertility plague and the subsequent overturning of society, but I would imagine going from a free society to a completely repressive one would take longer than that. But that's a pretty small nitpick.

According to what Aunt Lydia told the Handmaids during their "training", the fertility rates had been declining for over 30 years. We don't know how many years the Gilead leadership had been preparing to take over the US - they could have started out as a minority political party that kept increasing their following until they had enough support to take over. The short timeline doesn't bother me, since it's very similar to that of the Third Reich (1933 - 1945).

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1 hour ago, John Potts said:

 I couldn't help wondering what (if anything) the "rapist" was really guilty of (it's not as if the Handmaids would be allowed to see the trial, if he even got one) - even more effective if not only do they make the Handmaids act as executioners, but that they're actually executing a possible ally. But the whole "Divide & Rule" angle was very true to how oppressive regimes really operate - if anyone could be informing on you, it becomes almost impossible to be sure anyone offering to help isn't trying to trap you. As was the way that it was predominantly women oppressing Offred - the Matron, the Wife, the Housekeeper - all making the idea of solidarity amongst the women an unlikely prospect, or at least a very risky one.

Looking back at history, "rape" was sometimes a convenient crime.  Before the idea of woman having some sort of consent, any time a woman under the protection of a man (as a wife, daughter, ward, etc) was found to have had sexual relations with another (unsuitable) man, the man was labeled a rapist.  The fewer rights women had in society, the less important they were in a rape case.  In this show, we have a society where women had absolutely no rights--which makes it more than possible that the "rapist" simply had sex with a woman without the society's blessing.  In fact, I think that probably was the case because it seems like actual cases of violence in Gilead are dealt with immediately, usually with a bullet to the head.

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5 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Looking back at history, "rape" was sometimes a convenient crime.

I was imagining something like that - I wondered if the he might have been having an affair with the Handmaiden while she was pregnant (probably with somebody important's child) and that was the "real" crime he was condemned for. The dialogue there was particularly on point with how the Matron stressed that the real crime there wasn't the rape, it was the loss of the child.

1 hour ago, chocolatine said:

The short timeline doesn't bother me, since it's very similar to that of the Third Reich (1933 - 1945).

Actually, that was what I was thinking of - 1938 would only take you up to Kristallnacht, which given the scale of the damage was indicative of the fact that even 5 years into the regime, German Jews still had considerable assets. I was wondering if the TV show had shortened the timeline so they could keep Elizabeth Moss for the "Before" scenes.

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5 hours ago, John Potts said:

Actually, that was what I was thinking of - 1938 would only take you up to Kristallnacht, which given the scale of the damage was indicative of the fact that even 5 years into the regime, German Jews still had considerable assets.

Keep watching; episode 3 sheds more light on that.

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Moved this from another thread, it belongs here.

Speaking of the bottle of milk tokens, when they were shopping there we different labels on the milk.  I add to assume the designated the fat % of each type, but how in hell is "blue" supposed to mean 2% or whatever?  I guess the women aren't allowed to know simple numbers either?  It was bizarre.

I can't find a photo of the milk, but I know I saw it in some review.  In the dairy case were bottles of milk with different colored labels.  Since Martha's aren't allowed to read either, and the token just had the drawing without color (I think) then WTF?

13:52 about in the first episode to see what I mean, can't find a still photo of the milk bottles or of the tokens. 

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There is a photo of the milk in one of the first posts on this thread. Is there no colour coded labelling system for milk in the US? Here it's usual that whole milk is blue, green is semi-skimmed and red is skimmed. (And gold for super delicious, extra creamy milk.) Tbh, I'm surprised the Commanders allow any messing about with the milk, I'd just imagine they'd decree whole, non-homogenised, just be grateful it's pasteurised, milk as the only type allowed.

On 4/26/2017 at 4:41 PM, Corgi-ears said:

Those generic but oddly beautiful labels on the food almost made me get behind this new world order. I'm such a monster.

Labels3.jpg

Here it is.

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THAT is where I saw it.  Duh, I should have read this whole thread again.  Thank you.  There is a 1, 2, and 3 on it, but I guess only the Martha's know what that means?  They do all the cooking after all.  I suppose if the Wife wanted whole milk she would just ask for that, and the Martha would know "Yellow label!"

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2 hours ago, AllyB said:

Tbh, I'm surprised the Commanders allow any messing about with the milk, I'd just imagine they'd decree whole, non-homogenised, just be grateful it's pasteurised, milk as the only type allowed.

Actually... it seems like they enjoy variety. 

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On 6/10/2017 at 7:15 PM, Umbelina said:

Moved this from another thread, it belongs here.

Speaking of the bottle of milk tokens, when they were shopping there we different labels on the milk.  I add to assume the designated the fat % of each type, but how in hell is "blue" supposed to mean 2% or whatever?  I guess the women aren't allowed to know simple numbers either?  It was bizarre.

I can't find a photo of the milk, but I know I saw it in some review.  In the dairy case were bottles of milk with different colored labels.  Since Martha's aren't allowed to read either, and the token just had the drawing without color (I think) then WTF?

13:52 about in the first episode to see what I mean, can't find a still photo of the milk bottles or of the tokens. 

It's funny you would mention what I at least take for granted. Margaret Atwood is Canadian--(in fact her "partici-cution" is a play on the old annoying Canadian ads for "Partici-paction", a school sports participation program and constant TV ad. back  in the 70s and maybe early 80s, which annoyed us all including apparently, her).  Here in Canada----different milk companies have different colours of cartons for different percentages of milk.  Our brand (Farmers)--I use 2% which is a black carton, my husband uses regular (3%) which is red, and 1%, is green.  For those who like one company but not the other--you send your husband for "Blue" milk (Scotsburn, as we only have 2 province wide milk companies in my province).  I think it's Canada wide, while we don't all have the same milk companies---we do all have coloured cartons.   I still say--"Get black milk" for me--aka--get Farmers 2%.

Now of course, Gilead would likely only have 1 country wide milk company, so that may blow holes in my theory, but I kind of think that's what she was going for.

Oh--I didn't see the numbers by the milk--and someone upthread has coloured cartons but not the same colours as we have on the east coast.  It isn't standardized, each company sets their own colours for which percentage milk it is. 

Edited by whoknowswho · Reason: because I missed some words
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9 hours ago, whoknowswho said:

It's funny you would mention what I at least take for granted. Margaret Atwood is Canadian--(in fact her "partici-cution" is a play on the old annoying Canadian ads for "Partici-paction", a school sports participation program and constant TV ad. back  in the 70s and maybe early 80s, which annoyed us all including apparently, her).  Here in Canada----different milk companies have different colours of cartons for different percentages of milk.  Our brand (Farmers)--I use 2% which is a black carton, my husband uses regular (3%) which is red, and 1%, is green.  For those who like one company but not the other--you send your husband for "Blue" milk (Scotsburn, as we only have 2 province wide milk companies in my province).  I think it's Canada wide, while we don't all have the same milk companies---we do all have coloured cartons.   I still say--"Get black milk" for me--aka--get Farmers 2%.

Interesting that for you, different brands are different colours.

I am from Ontario (where Margaret Atwood is from) and the different companies have more or less "standardized" the colours for different percentages - even up to half-and-half, whipping cream, etc.

stock-photo-toronto-canada-september-sel

Light blue = skim, purple = 1%, dark blue = 2%, red = homo, etc - except for one brand (Beatrice) that is different.

It didn't strike me as in any way out of the ordinary to see the milk on THT colour-coded, but that's just what I have always known. I can't say I have ever paid attention to the milk when in the US or in other provinces in Canada, but I guess I assumed that colour coding was more universal/standard than it actually is.

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21 minutes ago, secnarf said:

Interesting that for you, different brands are different colours.

I am from Ontario (where Margaret Atwood is from) and the different companies have more or less "standardized" the colours for different percentages - even up to half-and-half, whipping cream, etc.

stock-photo-toronto-canada-september-sel

Light blue = skim, purple = 1%, dark blue = 2%, red = homo, etc - except for one brand (Beatrice) that is different.

It didn't strike me as in any way out of the ordinary to see the milk on THT colour-coded, but that's just what I have always known. I can't say I have ever paid attention to the milk when in the US or in other provinces in Canada, but I guess I assumed that colour coding was more universal/standard than it actually is.

Our colors are whatever the brand of milk thinks will stand out.  ;)  I seriously doubt Atwood did the set or prop designs on this show though, or had anything whatsoever to do with them.  However, maybe...

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The whole milk controversy is odd to me. In Virginia there are a few local dairies and they all seem to have similar color label systems. Red for whole milk, dark blue for 2% and light blue for skim. Much like  @secnarf... to be honest, I kind of assumed it was like this everywhere. As an interesting side note, this was the same system for milk in South Korea, at least in the 90's. 
 

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1 hour ago, EC Amber said:

The whole milk controversy is odd to me. In Virginia there are a few local dairies and they all seem to have similar color label systems. Red for whole milk, dark blue for 2% and light blue for skim. Much like  @secnarf... to be honest, I kind of assumed it was like this everywhere. As an interesting side note, this was the same system for milk in South Korea, at least in the 90's. 
 

I'm sure various companies have color coded stuff, but here (Oregon) it looks to be all just whatever.  Found a couple of photos, one Washington, one Miami.  Even if there is a color though, the % is on the label, if you only buy one brand ever, it would be easy to say "get the one with the orange cap" but...

miami-beach-florida-the-fresh-market-gro?m=02&d=20100225&t=2&i=66658306&w=780&fh

Interesting to know though, I'll really look next time. 

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On ‎29‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 2:36 AM, OtterMommy said:

Looking back at history, "rape" was sometimes a convenient crime.  Before the idea of woman having some sort of consent, any time a woman under the protection of a man (as a wife, daughter, ward, etc) was found to have had sexual relations with another (unsuitable) man, the man was labeled a rapist. 

No, the woman was labeled a whore. In order not to be that, she had to prove that the man had used violence and she had resisted him or at least called help.

But maybe you mean that also a consensual sex outside marriage was an offence against the man (father or husband) who "owned" the woman's sexuality?     

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On 4/27/2017 at 3:02 AM, Ariah said:

I'm loving every bit of this show - well, "loving" is a bad word, because it's terrifying. But the production values and acting is extremely high. Also, being a fan of the novel, I admire the world building.

...Was that Margaret Atwood herself slapping Offred in that "it's her fault / to teach her a lesson" scene?...

I'm very, very late. I read the book in October. 

It was all I could think about, every minute of the day. I had not read such brilliant writing...in a long time. Too long. The book completely captivated me. 

 

Of course I had to watch the show. It's better than I could have imagined. The directing, cinematography, acting, world building, just everything. It's gorgeous. Disturbing and horrific, but beautifully put together. I'm on episode 7. 

 

Elisabeth Moss is a dead ringer for my mom...it's scary. I mean watching Elisabeth is like looking at pics of my mom in the 60s and 70s. 

I'm now on an Atwood reading spree. MaddAdam trilogy, but it's not as good, although it's definitely a wonderful read. I think Atwood is my new favorite.

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