The Handmaid’s Tale Show & Book


The Handmaid’s Tale cover for the Hulu TV series. The series released 10 episodes for streaming some time in 2016.

Lilah Nelson

The Handmaid’s Tale was first developed as a book by Margaret Atwood in 1985 where she came up with the dystopian world called Gilead. The republic of Gilead is a totalitarian government who took over America after the fall of the birthrate. Following sadistic traditional views, Margaret Atwood used historic examples of communities using religion and social class to oppress and enslave people. The book follows a character called Offred who is trapped in Gilead as a handmaid separated from her daughter and husband. Beautifully written, the book tells Offred’s story from her point of view capturing her emotions and how she sees the world of Gilead. Weaving in and out of settings one minute the reader will be following along about Offred walking along Gilead’s bricked walls with bodies hanging beside her and her walking partner. In other scenes the reader will be thrown into flashbacks, Offred will describe the decline of women’s rights and the smell of her daughter hairs, how Luke her husband left his wife for her.

The book was turned into a TV show for the streaming series Hulu the 10 episode series hit Hulu in late 2016. The show follows the book pretty keenly for the first couple episodes of season one letting you learn who Offred is through her words and feelings. Elisabeth Moss plays Offred in the series strongly playing her character Moss makes the viewers fall in love with Offred. Almost feeling the pain Offred has to go through the show captures this dystopian world in a sophisticated way. The viewers see Offred go through ups and downs throughout season one and two possibly thinking she will get out of Gilead by season two. Many have argued that the TV series is to graphic but the show runners stated that if it was not graphic it would not convey what Offred has to go through as a women properly.  Seeing flashbacks of her best friend Moira and daughter Hannah you learn who Offred was before the government was taken over by Gilead. Another thing the show does beautifly besides the visually stunning episodes is bring the handmaids in the show together letting the viewers feel triumphant with the women as they learn each other’s real name’s, letting one another know that they are here for eachother.

Both the show and the book are engagingly written. even though only one book has been written the show will continue for a season three on Hulu sometime in June. If someone has not viewed the TV series the book is recommended because it gives you other insites the show does not have. The TV show is also recommended because it tells the story Margaret Atwood wrote into justice and the significance the message she wrote in her book to screen.