Margaret Atwood presents episode-by-episode insights into The Handmaid’s Story · Nice Job, Web! · The A.V. Membership

We’re all still reeling from season considered one of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Story, which ended, as A.V. Membership reviewer Allison Shoemaker put it, with a “thoughtful, thrilling finale.” These searching for extra context on this fascinating season are in luck: Margaret Atwood, creator of the dystopian novel the sequence relies on—the place fertile ladies are compelled into surrogate slavery to assist populate the barren, male-dominated society of Gilead—has annotated season one for The New York Times. Atwood presents invaluable background data on components just like the sequence’ costuming, in addition to on Gilead’s fertility points, black-market nightclub, and subversive resistance.

Atwood begins with the costumes—purple for Handmaids, blue for wives, inexperienced for Marthas, brown for aunts. “Organizing folks in accordance with what they’re carrying—who ought to put on what and when, who has to cowl up what—is a really, very, very, very outdated human vocation,” the author explains. Additional, the article says:

The purple can be borrowed from Christian iconography of the late-medieval, early Renaissance interval, she stated, during which “the Virgin Mary would inevitably put on blue or blue-green, and Mary Magdalene would inevitably put on purple.”

Atwood additionally factors to the historic precedents of “frenzied homicide mobs,” just like when the Handmaids are instructed en masse to execute somebody. Tyrants and dictators like Adolf Hitler and Nicolae Ceausescu additionally dictated the phrases of fertility, and a few rulers, like Henry VIII, most well-liked having their supposedly barren wives executed somewhat than admitting their very own sterility.

Gilead’s black market membership was impressed by an identical black market “tolerated by the Allies in Naples, Italy, throughout World Conflict II” as a result of, in accordance with Atwood, “they have been serving to to run it!’” And the (hopefully) forthcoming Mayday resistance was influenced by Atwood’s “big quantity of analysis on the resistance actions in numerous international locations throughout World Conflict II.” Someway all of this background element simply provides to the impressiveness of this already spectacular sequence; you possibly can learn the remainder of it at The New York Times.

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