In the novelEdit
Life Prior to Gilead Edit
Janine apparently worked as a waitress prior to the rise of the Republic of Gilead. She had a young daughter (it is not mentioned if she was married). When Janine was fourteen, she was gang-raped and fell pregnant as a result, but had an abortion.
Life at the Red Center Edit
After Gilead's creation, Janine was rounded up, separated from her daughter and sent to the Red Center. The emotionally fragile Janine was quickly broken down by the Aunts - she was forced to 'confess' her sins and told the story of her gang-rape and abortion. The Aunts declared that Janine brought the rape upon herself and the other Handmaids were made to shame Janine, who eventually agreed that what happened was her fault and that God had been teaching her a lesson. Janine often cried in the night over her lost daughter. At one point, she seemed to suffer a complete mental breakdown, believing she was living her old life again and asking people for their orders. This prompted Moira to slap Janine and speak harshly to her, in order to get her to snap out of it, as the Aunts would show her no mercy. She was mentioned as being a favourite of Aunt Lydia's due to her submissive nature.
Life in Gilead Edit
When Offred meets Janine again, she is assigned to a Commander Warren and his Wife, being known as Ofwarren. Janine is heavily pregnant and flaunts this publically, as this is regarded as the greatest thing a Handmaid can accomplish. It is rumoured that the real father of Janine's baby is not Commander Warren, but her doctor, due to Warren's infertility, and Warren's Wife secretly arranged this to get a child.
Janine goes into labour and Offred, Ofglen and several other Handmaids attend the birth to support her. Janine delivers a seemingly healthy baby girl, who is immediately given to the Wife and named Angela. Janine is exhausted and emotionally drained from the experience, but Offred reasons that she will never be declared an Unwoman now. Unfortunately, Janine's triumph is short-lived, as baby Angela turns out to be a "shredder" and does not live. Janine is distraught by this and the trauma takes its toll on her mental well-being. When Offred next sees her at the Particicution, Janine appears to be insane, barely reacting to the events of the day and not responding even when Offred calls her by her real name. She doesn't appear to recognize Offred, merely smiles pleasantly at her and wishes her a good day before wandering off. Janine's fate is unknown.
In the TV series Edit
Janine is portrayed by actress Madeline Brewer. In the television adaption, Janine is initially somewhat more rebellious.
In the past Edit
Before Gilead Edit
At the Red Center Edit
Janine is taken to the Red Center and initially stands up to the Aunts, telling Aunt Lydia to "f**k you" and she is punished by having her right eye removed. As in the book, she is forced to 'confess' her sins and tell the story of her gang-rape. Aunt Lydia explains that Janine brought the rape upon herself and the other Handmaids are made to shame Janine.
Janine cries in the night. She seems to suffer a complete mental breakdown, believing she is living her old life as a waitress and asking people for their orders, which prompts Moira to slap Janine and speak harshly to her, in order to get her to snap out of it, as Aunt Beth would show no mercy.
Present time, season one Edit
Janine is assigned to Commander Warren and gives birth to a daughter, who the Putnams name Angela, whilst Janine names her Charlotte. Due to an affair with her Commander, she believes he is in love with her. He promises her they would run away together and be a family, though this is considered a lie so he could persuade her to do sexual activities with him that his wife wouldn't do. She clearly dislikes Mrs Putnam and her obvious inexperience with children and even bites her at one point when she tries to take her child.
The handmaids are taken to a party to honour Gilead and show the foreign delegates their success, including presenting the children of Gilead. Serena Joy instructs Aunt Lydia to "remove the damaged ones" of the handmaids from the banquet due to their visible mutilations done by the regime, among them Janine, Oflyle, Ofthomas, Oftim, and Ofjohn. Alma later remarks to Offred that the delegates are interested in fertile women as a commodity to be traded between the two nations.
In the ninth episode 'The Bridge', Janine suffers a psychological breakdown after she is taken away from Angela and the Putnams to be reassigned to Commander Daniel, reverting to a child-like state during the Ceremony and insisting that "he" (Warren) is coming for her. She is later able to make her way back to the Putnams and abducts her baby daughter. She is found standing on the edge of a bridge over a river, holding her daughter and threatening to throw herself off. When Warren tries to dissuade her, she becomes infuriated and reveals his promises to her and the sexual things he made her do behind his wife's back. Offred is brought forward to try and talk her down. She seemingly manages to get through to Janine, who hands over her daughter to Offred, only to go ahead with her suicide attempt moments later, jumping into the frozen water. She survives, but is taken to hospital in a critical condition.
By Night, Janine has largely recovered, but for endangering her daughter by almost jumping with the baby, she is sentenced to death. The other Handmaids are ordered to stone her to death, but all of them defy Aunt Lydia's orders after the new Ofglen and Offred refused to throw their stones at Janine.
Present time, season two Edit
Emily guides Janine through the inhuman and brutal reality of the Colonies, where Janine still seems to find reasons to smile. Janine organizes a wedding, presided over by Sally, a Jewish rabbi, for Fiona and Kit, the latter of whom is dying, to give them a moment of happiness before their chance at being together is taken away. Emily then angrily points out they are just "cows being worked to death", and Janine is "dressing up the slaughterhouse for them", to which Janine replies that "cows don't get married". The next morning Kit’s body is carried out for burial on the graveyard.
After the attack that destroyed the new Rachel and Leah Center and killed many of those in attendance, Janine and Emily are returned to the custody of Gilead where they resume their duties as Handmaids. Janine briefly and excitedly explains to June that the bombing resulted in "so few Handmaids" that a decision was made to rehabilitate those who were sent to the colonies, including Emily.
Offred walks to the store where she runs into Janine and Emily. Janine calls her new posting a "blessing from God" since it is "only the Ceremony", to which Emily replies being raped is not a blessing and anyone helping Gilead deserves to be blown apart. An ambulance drives by causing everyone to kneel and pray for the baby. Brianna tells Janine she heard it's Angela. As Janine panics, June promises her she'll find out more about what's going on.
In the hospital, Serena asks Naomi if Janine, who is brought by Aunt Lydia, could see the baby. Her husband is okay with it but Naomi isn't. Offred takes Janine to see the baby in the ICU. Dr. Hodgson arrives in her Martha dress, changes clothes and is briefed by Dr. Epstein. She runs some tests on the baby. The doctors give Angela's parents bad news. Serena goes after the doctor but the doctor says is that all they can do is pray for the baby's recovery. Janine is able to hold the baby in order to say goodbye. Aunt Lydia later wakes up in the ICU and finds Janine in her underclothes holding a very much alive baby.
Isaac is escorting June and Janine on a shopping trip. When Janine starts talking loudly, Issac orders her to be quiet and refers to her as "unwoman," referring to her prior status as a prisoner in the Colonies. When Janine replies that she and June are having a conversation and tells Isaac to "suck [her] dick", Isaac hits her in the mouth with his gun, knocking her to the ground. He then roughly escorts June home.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Episode 1.1, "Offred (TV Episode)"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Handmaid's Tale (Novel), chapter 32
- ↑ The Handmaid's Tale (Novel), chapter 19
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Episode 1.2, "Birth Day"
- ↑ Episode 1.3, "Late"
- ↑ Episode 6, "A Woman's Place."
- ↑ Episode 1.9, "The Bridge"
- ↑ Episode 1.10, "Night"
- ↑ Episode 2.1, "Unwomen (TV Episode)"
- ↑ Episode 2.5, "Seeds"
- ↑ Episode 2.7, "After"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "Episode 2.8, Women's Work"
- ↑ Episode 2.9, "Smart Power"