Differences between Margaret Atwood's book "The Handmaiden's Tale" and the movie of the same name. About 400 words.

Essay by el_kabong999 July 2002

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_____Subtle differences in the movie seemed to take away a lot of the feelings of oppression that were present in the book. One of the biggest things about the movie would have to be the difference in clothing from the book. In the book, none of the women could show any legs at all. Even with the dark black stockings on, the women could not show any leg beneath the bottoms of their dresses. In the movie, the dresses were cut just below the knee. This fact seems to almost lessen the severity or lighten the totalitarianism from the book. A shorter dress would mean less rigid social standards. Also dealing with clothing is the veil and the wings. In the book, women could not show their faces, which were covered by veils, and could only look forward because of their "wings", which were almost like a horse's blinders. Once again, because they are not presented in the same manner, the movie version of Gilead seems less threatening.

_____In dealing with outward appearances, Offglen's permanent ID was also different. Instead of a tattoo reminiscent of concentration camps, Offglen wears a metal bracelet, once again lessening the general feeling of trepidation. Even the mention of her real name, Kate, seemed to lessen the severity of everything. Kate's outward expression was shown a lot more in the movie, perhaps because the viewer cannot read her mind, or maybe because the directors and the producers did not want to insult the religious right's fragile sensibilities.

_____The book and the movie seems to satirize a lot of views held by most ultra conservative religious groups. Rulers of Gilead used selected references from the Old Testament used to subdue women as slaves and concubines. This, and the suppression or murder of nonconformists, both sociopolitical and...