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Talk:The Handmaid's Tale

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Deletion tag[edit]

Weak keep — Exploration of authoritarian society, namely DeseretGilead, in the book's universe. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Yeah I thought that was kind of obvious. People need to stop being so jumpy with wanting to delete articles. ClothCoat (talk) 02:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Keep per "explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism." Obviously. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 03:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, the authoritarianism angle seems pretty weaksauce. I mean it's about authoritarianism, but a fictionalized version. As I said in the edit summary, it's notable from a literary standpoint and a lot of progressives refer to it, but I don't see it as really fitting here that well. --Kels (talk) 03:14, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Keep. I think it has it's place here. Refugeetalk page 06:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Strong keep. Another article we'd rather delete than work to improve. RationalWiki, you are batting 0/2 today. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:53, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Obvious keep. Pretty good article all up - short introduction to a subject one might hear referred to in passing and wonder what it was. --DamoHi 07:30, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


The system appears to be designed to fail through reducing the pool of potentially successful reproductive encounters, and disposing of considerable sections of society.

And, from the epilogue, fail it does. (talk) 16:46, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

If I remember it right, Gilead's people were still recovering from the nuclear/chemical/biological effects of a war (or industrial pollution?) which had left most women unable to carry a healthy baby to term. The Handmaids were selected on that basis, and suffered dire consequences if they turned out to be infertile. Alec Sanderson (talk) 16:58, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Yep, Alec has it. Plus a repressive theocracy took power during that time. It seemed like Gilead started the conflict, but it was pretty implied. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:28, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

According to 'the source of all misinformation' (long time since I read the book) - "three failed pregnancies" should probably read "three placements to get pregnant."

Objectively the system is flawed/unstable - certain men (who may well not be fertile themselves) have most of the potentially fertile women, leaving other men without; even the men with power are willing to subvert the system (allowing access to resources); the rest of the world does not adhere to the system (and so will advance ahead of the US/marginalise it/otherwise subvert the system) - and (especially given the book's publication date) a fair proportion of people will not be involved in the electronic/banking system. (talk) 14:41, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Establishing the system[edit]

As Gilead is set up the women are removed from the workforce - surely this would have caused significant destabilisation of itself (especially as 'large numbers of clerical jobs, shop jobs and teachers of children' will suddenly become available). And then the men will have to earn at least twice as much to cover for the incomes their wives (and for higher ranks the other females in the households) would otherwise have provided. (talk) 11:40, 7 July 2017 (UTC)