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The Handmaid's Tale Vol 2

(988 Posts)
PacificDogwod Tue 20-Jun-17 16:22:19

I go to work and this is what happens: the previous thread fills up when I have pertinent things to say! shockwink

Hope nobody minds, I've taken the opportunity to start a new one before the Offspring demand food and the likes...

One of the masterful strikes of strategic genius of the new regime is the division and envy between everybody and everybody: men vs women, women in different roles vs other women, high ranking vs low ranking.
No solidarity is allowed - even the partnered Handmaids were half companion and have guard. Never knowing who might be an Eye and who to trust must be soul destroying.

I think Serena is quite a tragic figure - in the book and in the TV series. She must feel so betrayed by the ideals she fought for and that she is now kind of forced to uphold because otherwise what would her life be?? Admitting that she supporting a world view that while giving her some kind of social status by dint of her husband's role, considers her without value as she cannot have children would render everything she stands for invalid, and herself by extension.

The author who wrote a book about women being able to electrocute men by touch thereby causing a power change over (sorry, I cannot remember either name blush) was talking on Radio Scotland today. She said the idea for her book came from when she wondered why so many mechanisms in society seem to go back to the fact that 'more men can throw a woman across a room than the other way around'. It's a depressing thought that physical strength underpins so much.

CloudNinetyNine Tue 20-Jun-17 17:14:34

Do the wives also get new names - Serena Joy seems such a 'nice' name but the poor women is not really living up to her name. Did we hear what the wife in Janine's house was called?

Batteriesallgone Tue 20-Jun-17 17:19:21

Was looking for a new thread! Thanks for starting!

That's not my impression of Selina at all confused

I thought she was enjoying using the Handmaids for her own gains. I know some fundamental christians where the woman has very little say in her life, man is head of the household etc. I only sense underlying frustration in one of them. The others all think it's right and proper, and these are intelligent women. It doesn't follow for me at all that Commanders Wife = trapped and frustrated. Especially in a new regime she will have seen coming and had a say in.

colouringinagain Tue 20-Jun-17 21:32:47

Marking place for later 😀

endofthelinefinally Tue 20-Jun-17 21:52:24

Did anyone else think of The Crucible in the brief glimpse of Ofglen's trial?

endofthelinefinally Tue 20-Jun-17 21:52:25

Did anyone else think of The Crucible in the brief glimpse of Ofglen's trial?

endofthelinefinally Tue 20-Jun-17 21:52:26

Did anyone else think of The Crucible in the brief glimpse of Ofglen's trial?

endofthelinefinally Tue 20-Jun-17 21:53:08

Sorry. Dont know what phone did there.

HarryBiscuit Tue 20-Jun-17 21:59:46

I haven't watched the latest episode yet but I tried on a dress that made me feel like I was a Handmaid today. In case any of you want to snap one up:

TheweewitchRoz Tue 20-Jun-17 22:10:47

Glad to be able to join you all again - love reading these threads.

CruCru Wed 21-Jun-17 00:30:44

Drat - that dress is all sold out (apart from one in size 6 - not my size).

TizzyDongue Wed 21-Jun-17 04:02:41

Just watched it and been reading comments with interest.

I found the scene with the doctor more disturbing that 'the ceremony'. As not only did the man have all the power, and there was the sinister feeling of rape there was the added element of total lack of control for the woman not knowing if he was genuinely concerned, or testing her, or use her.

Felt it summarised the balance between women and men in the society on the whole.

DH thought the scene after was the most powerful (where she's broken; crying and angry - hitting the screen divide in the car and being ignored by the man driving). Thought it interesting the two different scenes stood out to us differently.

Am I making sense?!! (Addled brain as iys latr! Must go to sleep) He would never have experienced that unbalance in society between men and women, being a man, so the different interpretation of scenes was interesting I felt.

I was wondering (and it may have been mentioned - I'm certain I've missed a few pages in the thread), how does the other handmaid physically to be waiting outside the house if she's alone? Is she living very close by? But still how come it's ok for her to walk there and wait alone?

InigoTaran Wed 21-Jun-17 09:30:03

Thanks for new thread! Book the OP mentioned is called The Power by Naomi Alderman and is well worth a read.

BeyondOfbob Wed 21-Jun-17 10:46:14

I've been meaning to read The Power. Will stick it on my to do list over the summer

Soslowmo Wed 21-Jun-17 17:49:07


PacificDogwod Wed 21-Jun-17 19:31:34

Thank you, Inigo thanks
I could not face reading the whole other thread to find the title..
It will go on my summer reading list too.

Crossoldwasp Wed 21-Jun-17 20:19:07

Apologies if I missed it on the previous thread, but weren't all black people deported to a different part of the country or colonies in the book...?

BeyondOfbob Wed 21-Jun-17 21:08:55

Yeah there are definitely additional racial issues in the book, though I don't remember the detail.

We'll have to have a reading thread for it, Pacific!

Batteriesallgone Wed 21-Jun-17 22:21:16

I was a bit thrown by Moira being black, because I thought there were some white supremacy themes in the book too.

Having thought about it though I think it was clever to take the racism out. So often when people see racism and sexism interplaying they tell themselves 'oh I'd never be racist' and the sexism goes unexamined IYSWIM.

Clawdy Wed 21-Jun-17 22:50:19

One thing I didn't get - the escape of Offred and Moira. Were they both trying to escape, and if so, why didn't they stick together? If it was Offred just helping Moira, why would she risk such a thing, knowing when she returned she would face horrendous punishment as soon as the imprisoned Aunt was discovered?

AltheaThoon Wed 21-Jun-17 23:37:59

Clawdy, I presumed they had both wanted to escape but when it became obvious that Offred wasn't going to make it they both silently agreed that it was better for one of them to escape.

One thing that struck me about the scene at the doctor's was that there was no concern for how Offered was. It was all about whether she was ready for the ceremony. She's literally treated as a walking womb.

AltheaThoon Wed 21-Jun-17 23:39:19

Offred, not offered grin

MsFortunaMajor Thu 22-Jun-17 01:46:52

On the last page of the previous thread, a poster mentioned women's war work during WW1 as the reason women were given the right to vote in 1918. Many historians now disagree with this view.

Before the 1918 Representation of the People Act, 40% of men did not have the right to vote. And all women were excluded from the franchise. this meant that many of the soldiers who fought in the war did not have the right to vote, which was seen by many as unacceptable after the sacrifices of the First World War. The 1918 Act extended the right to vote to all men. Taking advantage of this extension of the franchise, Millicent Fawcett and the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) successfully campaigned for the Act to extend the vote to women aged over 28 who met certain criteria relating to owning property. This still excluded most of the women who contributed to the war effort (by working in factories, etc) as they were predominantly lower class and under 28. All women gained the right to vote in 1928.

Sorry to go in to such detail, it's a really fascinating part of women's history and the suffragists of the NUWSS do not get the credit they deserve for successfully campaigning for the Act to extend the vote to women. Martin Pugh has written some great books on the subject if anyone would like to find out more.

MsFortunaMajor Thu 22-Jun-17 01:54:07

Sorry, I forgot to say that the above info only applies to the extension of the franchise in Britain.

CruCru Thu 22-Jun-17 09:59:18

In the last episode, the commander said that an Aunt had got across to Toronto - at first, I thought it was Moira but presumably she would have told the people in Toronto that she was a Handmaid (even if not dressed like one).

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