When I record this video, I don’t know when I will post it. It might today, tomorrow or several days later. Another possibility that you will never see this, but this video is already recorded. It is here. Just like Margaret Atwood finished this novel, she also didn‘t know things she written was going to happen or not. Things happen in “Gilead” seems just like an absurd story in the book. The fact is they all real stories and they all happened before. A ridiculous story stitched together from real events. This makes the novel not only a novel, but also a prophecy.
Before my review start, let me give you a shot introduction about The Handmaid’s Tale. Hope that can warm up your memory. Offred is the heroine of The Handmaid’s Tale. Her original name is June. She is a handmaid of Gilead. However, before the founding of the Gilead, June was an editor and had a relatively happy family. She could not imagine that she would one day become a childbearing machine without freedom.
Now, from the point of view of freedom, let's talk about how June became Offred.
How is freedom lost?
The institution of Handmaid was established based on the importance of reproduction and on this basis the social framework of Gilead was established. To put everyone's guard down, the Gilead did not use brute force, but step by step, just like boiling a fog in warm water. Gradually changing people’s ideas. By the time people react, it's too late.
1.Restrict women's economic freedom and deprive them of job opportunities
One day, June went to shopping and found her bank card was frozen. Subsequently, the company dismissed all female employees. Under the new law, women are no longer allowed to own property and deposits are transferred to close male accounts. Companies are afraid to hire women because of political pressure. This will change the concept of gender equality. June's husband, Luke, felt it didn't matter that his wife had lost her fortune and could take care of her. In this narrative, the woman becomes the weak one and needs the protection of the man. In fact, to protect her body and her live is to take over her life.
2.Limit the value of women to a single function
Without work, women's social values are not reflected in the workplace. Men became the sole source of family income and women became vassals, forced to look for value within family life. Faced with a very low birthrate, the Gilead see "population continuation" as a major strategy. Women who are able to bear children naturally become the ones to shoulder this ‘great’ responsibility. Gilead also codified child-rearing practices into law, emphasizing the importance of children. Gilead gradually guided women's values towards the single dimension of reproduction.
3.Ensure the priority of childbearing and punish the behaviors against it
While sanctifying procreation, Gilead cracked down on all notions and practices that went against it. Contraception became a crime, and the doctor who supplied it was hanged. LGBT are stigmatized as social outcasts. If found, they may be killed or exiled to work in contaminated areas.
It didn't take long for these measures to link up, and the whole society's gender perception changed dramatically. Of course, it's unlikely that the women brought into the concentration camps would willingly accept being part of a fertility machine, but the concentration camps had a strong and brutal discipline system that forces them to submit.
The most direct is physical torture. When they disobeyed or tried to resist, the mammy in charge of the corrections shocked them. In severe cases, eyes can be gouged out or forearms cut off: like Junine.
Create an atmosphere of being watched so that there is no room for trust. Create an atmosphere of surveillance and disrupt the space of trust. Except for the gun-toting soldiers on the streets and in the shopping malls that followed, it was felt that there were "eyes and ears" in the crowd, but no one knew who. The maid beside may be the eyes and ears, the maid in the home may be the eyes and ears, the bishop's driver may be the eyes and ears... The women are afraid to tell others their true feelings, which makes their joint resistance more difficult.
Brainwashing. In order to indoctrinate, girls are forced to do things against their will. For example, Janine, the handmaid, had been raped. Aunt Lydia thought it was Janine's fault that she had seduced men. Mammy ordered the other maidservants to abuse Jennie, and anyone who hesitated would be punished. To strengthen her identity, mammy turned heresy men over to feuding maidservants, who vented their anger, became violent and played down their victimhood.
Distinctive identity. mammy also told the maidservants repeatedly that what they did was a great sacrifice. The maidservant system was not oppression but protection for fertile women. In the past, women could move freely, but they could be threatened and put in danger. Now they are respected, protected, and completely safe, and it is an honor to be a part of the making of human life.
It was under this cruel and harsh discipline that most of the handmaids gave in and accepted their fate as handmaids.
Now I'm done. You may feel lucky. “Oh, lucky me, that's just fiction. In this civilized developed twenty-first century, there will be no such absurd things.”
You really think so?
This is Iran before 1979
This is Iran after the 1979 revolution
‘Nothing changes instantaneously, in a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.’ The wheel of history is not always forward. Anything that has happened in history can happen again. Those who think all is well, would be best to best to be open your eyes.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.
Mainly by John Donne（1572－1631）