Comparing The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood to the Hulu series I am actually disappointed. It is understandable that the book and the show/movie will never be the same, some details will always be left out. Maybe I will always prefer the books over the series/movies so I might seem somewhat bias. However in my opinion too many details were left out or added in. The actual story to The Handmaid’s Tale is no longer how it was written in the original book. I do not remember ever reading that Luke was shot while they tried to runaway. In the book, Offred continues to keep hope that both her child and husband are alive and somewhere safe. He is never actually presumed dead in the book. The Commanders and their wives are described as very old in the book, on the other hand the show portrays them as young. Now when you think of old you can imagine sterile but in the show the Commanders and their wives are both young erasing that image. It also takes away from the idea the book has that men can ever be sterile regardless of how old they get. The problem can only be within the women and never the men. But since the Commanders and their wives are shown as young that idea no longer makes as much sense as it did in the book. The disgust Serena Joy feels towards Offred does remain thankfully in both the show and the book. But the way that Nick interacts with Offred is completely different. That touch of the foot in the book is not shown within the series. That part in the book is actually very important since it is basically the start of Offred and Nick’s relationship. The touch of the foot is the affection Offred, does not realize in that moment, needs. But that scene does not exist in the series. If I am not mistaken, the handmaid’s are not supposed to interact that openly in front of anyone according to the book. Yet in the series, Offred and Offglen seem to be speaking without a worry. They are supposed to whisper but in the series they are speaking at a normal volume. The idea of “Mayday” also does not exist in the series so far and that was a good chunk of the book. The word “Mayday” played the role of a secret word that becomes the reason that Offglen and Offred become closer. Mayday is the reason Offred gets an insight to a whole different world in the book. In the series, they jump to giving her that insight. I also do not remember Offred spilling her entire story to Offglen in the book, but she does in the series. Lastly, the significance of the Ceremony and giving birth is completely lost in the series. When Janine is shown in the moments building up towards her giving birth the wife is no where to be found in that room. Aunt Lydia and all of the handmaid’s are the ones that are there with her. In the book, the wife is meant to hold the arms of the handmaid during the ceremony as well as when she is giving birth. That act is meant to symbolize a kind of togetherness. The handmaid is the path for the wife’s destination which is the baby. Holding the handmaid’s arms during birth is to show that the wife herself is also feeling what the handmaid feels. It makes the wife a part of the process. That doesn’t exist in the series.
The Hulu series is not awful, but for someone who has read the book and is now watching the series it’s almost like torture. I would like to rewrite their entire script for them.