The Handmaids Tale, when I first read a few passages of the actual book I knew there was a dark vibe to it. But watching the first episode of the series really showed me the true darkness within this “Fictional World”. I could see why this book as a whole has become popular. The new presidential administrations methods and motto matches that of the hierachy in place within the Handmaids Tale.
At (16:25) An Aunt speaks to the handmaids at the red center and explains why it has come to this point. And that is a plague of infertility and toxicity released in the world. A punishment from God. The Aunt without actual proof claims all the chaos is a part of gods plan. This is similar to the current presidential administration whose “information” is also missused and inaccurate. Around the 19:40 mark the aunt says somthing that left me uneasy. “I know this must feel strange to you but ordinary is just what you’re used to. This may not seem ordinary to you right now but after time it will become ordinary”. This statement concluded that these women had nothing great in their past lives and that from here on out that being a handmaid will be their normal.
Which is completely false, throughout the episode other women reveal information about their past lives and former happiness. Around 13:19 Offred has flashbacks of her young daughter and husband at a beach enjoying the water. Throughout the episode Offred has flashbacks of her daughter and constantly reminds her self to get herself together. She maintains strong in hopes of seeing her daughter and runing away with her far away. From the beginning of the episode I could see the physiological warefare between this hierarchy and the women. Around the 27:50 mark a handmaid is surrounded by other handmaids and aunts. Being accused of provoking her rape experience. The aunts get the other handmaids to agree with them which left me thinking how meticulous this hierarchy is to get these women to spy and plot against each other.
Woman Vs Woman is a recurring theme throughout the Handmaids Tale. This is seen perfectly within the Commanders Home between Offred and The commanders wife Joy. Pure hatred and sadness can be seen through Joy’s eyes through the completion of the ceremony. The root of that pain and suffering is not of Offred but the hierarchy and their sick physiological warefare. This is Due to our will for survival. Every Man and Woman within this hierarchy plays their part to survive. Joy willing and capable directs all this hatred and sadness onto Offred who is incapable of reciprocating the same energy back to joy. Because that’s risking her life death for sure. Death she does not want to face as she wants to be reunited with her daughter the will that keeps her going.
It is clear that the hierarchy in place has complete control over all its subjects and makes complete examples of those who are not within their control. At the 15:35 mark Offred and Ofglen decide to walk back home by the river. They encounter the wall that has a Priest, Doctor, and a Gayman hanging from it. Prime examples of what happens to those who disobey and don’t fit within the hierarchy. Death seems to be the penalty faced for any obstruction within the hierarchy that or being cast out of it to clear waste till dying days. The fear of death allows this hierarchy to maintain physiological control or advantage over everyone with in it. So much like controlling all actions.
At about the 47:45 mark The Aunt gathers all handmaids for a salvaging. A man is broughtout who according to Aunt Lydia, raped a pregnant Handmaid and caused her to lose the baby. All handmaids are startled and upset. Offred is secretly breaking down at potential news of her friend Moira being killed. Aunt Lydia blows a whistle and Like Attack dogs on command begin to release all frustration, anger, all emotions onto that man a purging of sorts for these handmaids. They all stop and snapback to normal from this rabid state after the whistle blows again. Many handmaids seem relieved after the “purging” but Offred is still in disbelief from what she had heard.
This first episode was like the story itself a machine. A machine that has tons of parts that allows it to work properly. This episode showed how this hierarchy gets all these pieces to work. When it comes to the handmaids their obedience is enforced by the Aunts and the wives of the Commanders. They separation between the handmaids and the aunts and wives. Allows the hierarchy to create tension and complete separation between them. As a result the complete control of Women. Because the women in higher positions fail to see the harm they are causing themselves and their kind but that again are blinded by the will for survival.