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Handmaid's Tale: Connections to our World

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on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of Handmaid's Tale: Connections to our World

Handmaid's Tale: Connections to our World
Tracy Gaston & Nancy Pier
People who were on the “enemies” side during world war 2 were rounded up into concentration camps and forced to wear red: “Handmaids wear read, which he seems to have borrowed from the uniforms of German prisoners of war in Canadian “”POW” camps of the second world war era.”
This “strips” people of their identity and forces them into a specific role and mentality, like they truly are some sort of people who deserve this certain treatment. It also works that way in the Handmaid’s Tale, making her almost embrace her role by the end of the book and just accepting the lesson being taught to her.

Canada
In
The Handmaid's Tale
, the men did not directly have many wives. However, they were constantly surrounded by, and provided of, women. This polygamy-like lifestyle was inspired by both previous laws and biblical passages.
Polygamy was often seen in the Old Testament, which is a text this society proclaims to follow most of the ideals of. The historical notes also said that previously polygamy was legal in Utah, which is a state in the same country that Gilead is set in.
United States of America
During the Mexican Independence, the leaders of the rebellion (such as Miguel Hidalgo) were captured and executed. The government then hung their severed heads in cages on the streets of Guanajuato.
This relates to “The Wall” where they would hang bodies as a warning and reminder to the people of Gilead. Like with Mexico, these were also the bodies of rebels and other undesirables. We see the influence of this wall in the new Ofglen’s comment: “Let that be a reminder to us.”
Mexico
People in Gilead were targeted by the government depending on their religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation just like in Nazi Germany. We know this because the children born with any disabilities are considered “Unbabies”. Also the people hanging on “The Wall” were often of other religions or guilty of ‘gender treason’ meaning gay. This is also supported by a quote in the historical notes at the end of the book that says that “[Gilead’s] racist policies [...] were firmly rooted in the pre-Gilead period...” This shows that these ideas were inspired by previous events, and Hitler’s concentration camps are recognized as the biggest example of discrimination and segregation.
Germany
Romania
Gilead puts a lot of importance in fertility and basing woman’s role depending on their ability to reproduce. The historical notes state that something similar has actually happened before, “Romania, for instance, had anticipated Gilead in the eighties by banning all forms of birth control, imposing compulsory pregnancy test on the female population, and linking promotion and wage increases to fertility.”
Changler, Graham. “The Happiest
Prisoners.” Legion Magazine. March 15, 2012. Web. May 25, 2015.

Miranda, Miguel. “Aqui dieron la vida
los heroes.”El sol de leon. September 7, 2009. Web.
May 25, 2015.
Works Cited
Full transcript