“Everyone at the top of Gilead has lied to us.”
Daughters are a class of women in Gilead. They are the female children of Commanders. They may be forcibly adopted from Handmaids, Unwomen, and treacherous Econopeople etc., born to Commanders' fertile Wives, or born to a Commander and a Handmaid. In all scenarios, they are officially the children of a Commander and his Wife.
Some children of very skilled professionals, such as dentists and doctors, may be educated as a Daughter even though they are not daughters of Commanders.
Attire[edit | edit source]
Young Daughters wear pink in the spring and summer months, plum in fall and winter, and wear white on special days. Their arms and hair are covered to "curb the urges of men." Skirts are permitted to be down to the knee before they are five, and then must be no more than two inches above the ankle after that.
When they reach a marriageable age, they wear spring green dresses trimmed with white in the spring and summer, and spring green dresses trimmed with dark green in the fall and winter. This signifies their "freshness" for marriage.
In both the original novel and the 1990 film, Daughters wear white until they reach marriageable age.
Role[edit | edit source]
The role of Daughters is to be educated into becoming Wives to Commanders and their sons. They do not learn to read, and are instead sent to "domestic arts" schools. They learn a wider range of activities than girls from Econofamilies, such as petit-point embroidery and crochet work. Once they reach a marriageable age, they attend Premarital Prepatory classes.
History[edit | edit source]
A mass exodus of Sons and Daughters of Commanders occurs at the end of the third season, orchestrated by the Martha network, Commander Joseph Lawrence, and June Osborne. Over fifty children successfully escape to Canada via airplane.
Known Daughters [edit | edit source]
Below is a list of the Daughters that have been portrayed in the novel, film, and TV series.
Agnes MacKenzie - Agnes was removed from her mother Offred and forcibly adopted by Commander and Mrs. MacKenzie, who renamed her. In the novels, she becomes a main character in The Testaments and grows up to be an Aunt called Aunt Victoria. In the film, she is called Jill, and her new family is unknown. In the series, she is still a child, and was called Hannah Bankole prior to her forced adoption.
Angela Putnam - Angela is the legal daughter of Commander Warren Putnam and his wife Naomi and the biological daughter of their former Handmaid Janine (as Ofwarren), who names her Charlotte. Angela is taken by Janine (now Ofdaniel) who attempts to commit murder-suicide with Angela, before being convinced to hand her to June Osborne. Angela later falls very ill, but recovers after spending time with Janine (now Ofhoward). In the novel, she is an Unbaby.
Gabriela - A popular classmate of Agnes.
Huldah - A classmate of Agnes with a "squint."
Kiki - Formerly named Rebecca, Kiki is the forcibly adopted daughter of a Commander and Wife from Lexington, MA. She escapes Gilead via airplane with over 50 other children and a few Marthas, and is reunited with her biological father in Canada.
Nichole Waterford - Nichole is the legal daughter of Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena, and the biological daughter of their former handmaid June Osborne (as Offred, now Ofjoseph) and their former driver Nick Blaine. Nichole escapes Gilead with Emily Malek and is presently being raised in Canada by her step-father, Luke Bankole, and her godmother Moira, legally baptized as Nichole Osborne. Gilead is demanding the extradition of Nichole, and this is being negotiated by Gilead and Canada, with Switzerland leading talks as a neutral party. After Commander Waterford's arrest, Serena was granted visitation rights as part of her deal with the American authorities, but has presumably lost them after her own arrest for sexual slavery and rape for her role in June and Nick's relationship.
Stillborn girl - A stillborn girl is legally born to Commander Andy Allston and his wife, and biologically born to their former Handmaid Ofandy. She may have been posthumously categorized as an Unbaby.
References[edit | edit source]
- XVIII Reading Room, Section 50