The first episode of Handmaid Tale revolves around dystopia of women that are subjugated to men. Men are to rule over the lives of women and serve them however they are pleased. However, there were some flashbacks in the episode that shows the world before the fruition of the dystopia. In addition , the show reveals that the dystopia uses the bible to justify the reasons for their control.
From my intuition, women are “Handmaids” or female servants and they are under the totalitarian command of men. So far , the show revealed one of the commanders in the society named Waterford. Thus , suggesting that there are other male commanders. In addition, there is a hierarchical system in place , that the handmaids are lowest position because they are just mere servants. Then, their are Marthas, who are supposedly second in command and are more experienced Handmaids. Lastly, the male commanders like Waterford who overlook the handmaids. The main character in the show named Offred , who real name is June, was captured by the dystopian society when she was trying to escape with her husband Luke and her daughter Hannah. She has been under there rule for months and through the episode we see how she tries to be sane.
Throughout the show, I see flashbacks of Offered in her earlier days before her capture. I see that she had a happy life with her family and her friend Moria (16:40 and 23:56) . It seems that she dearly misses her old life and it shows that society before wasn’t fully controlled by a government but free. There was an scene in the show when Offered and her companion was talking about there escape to Canada but were captured. Also , Offered flashbacks are important because it shows that Offred’s friend Moria was gay. Thus , giving one of the reasons for the fruition of why the dystopia came into control.
Furthermore, the dystopia seems that they are against Homosexuality , Abortion, and Christianity. In addition, the society uses the Bible (which has Christian themes ) to justify their actions and rules. In one scene, Offered and her companion passes by three bodies that were hanged against a wall : a priest, a doctor, and a gay man . When Offered was captured , she went into a classroom learning the purpose of the society, that women must be subjugated to men and give birth to their children(17:39). The society uses God as a reason for this type of control over women. In another scene , which was graphic , Offered is raped by Commander Waterford (30:31). It was ceremonial rape to ensure that Offered would give birth to Waterford’s child. Before Offered ceremony , Waterford recites biblical verses from Genesis as ceremonial rites. The verses tells of Rachel giving her handmaid to her husband Abraham as a surrogate wife to bare children for her. This was the societies religious motive and justification to allow men to rape woman so that they can bring there forth children in the world.
To conclude, it seems so that this society is religiously motivated to exterminate anyone that is against their views of the power dynamics of men and women. This show reminds me of the book The Crucible when the the europeans were escaping persecution because of their Christian faith , but went to the Americas to persecute those that are not of their faith . So, its seems a hypocritical , in addition when the handmaids beat a rapist to death , but it’s permissible when a commander rapes a women .