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  • Ryanne Harper

Make Gilead Great Again

Wait... what?

I read the Handmaid's Tale for the first time a few years ago. I like dystopian novels; 1984, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Fahrenheit 451, pretty much all of them. The Handmaid's Tale, though, disturbs me more than the others. Don't get me wrong, I like it. I guess it seems the most likely to come to pass, which makes it scarier to me. If you haven't read it, here's the link to the Wikipedia page. Also, this exist:

Thug Notes is one of my favorite things.

I recently started watching the Hulu original series to see how it compares to the book. Wow. It's a tough one. Knowing the story, I thought I was prepared. Nope. Not at all.

The Handmaid's Tale is told from Offred's point of view using a series of flashbacks and a lot of internal dialogue. Dialogue like this:

"Now I'm awake to the world. I was asleep before. That's how we let it happen. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn't wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Consitution, we didn't wake up then, either. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub, you'd be boiled to death before you knew it."

The handmaids don't speak much other than creepy pleasantries like "blessed be the fruit" and "under his eye". Occasionally, the show strays from Offred's point of view; we get to see things she doesn't. So, instead of wondering what happens to Ofglen when she disappears one day only to be replaced by a new Ofglen, we get to see it. Poor Rory Gilmore.

Both the show and book jump from "the time before" to modern day with no segue. In episode one, during a flashback, we see Offred and her friend, Moira, lose access to their bank accounts; we see Offred, as well as all her female coworkers, fired from their jobs simply because they're women. Later in the episode, we also get to see Margaret Atwood, the author, slap the crap out of Offred when she refuses to victim blame Janine, another newly recruited handmaid. Then we flashback to "the time before" and back again; the timeline is all over the place. Much like this post.

If I'm remembering correctly, the show is going in to a more details about how we got in this situation in the first place. That's where it gets a little creepy. Environmental regulations are eliminated, Separation of Church and State is thrown out the window, ya' know, stuff like that.

The subject matter is heavy. Some of the scenes are difficult to watch. Take your time and palette cleanse with some Adventure Time. That's what I do; it's like pickled ginger for the brain.

#handmaid #MargaretAtwood #ThugNotes #dystopian

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