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Gilead (Series)
This is Gilead. No one gets out.

Moira names a "disadvantage" of a society practicing slavery and human exploitation[1]

The Republic of Gilead, colloquially referred to as simply Gilead or elsewhere sometimes called, by its leadership, the Divine Republic, is the totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that rules over most of the territory that belonged to the former continental United States in The Handmaid's Tale. The regime that governs it can be seen as the overall antagonist of the television adaptation.

Society and Politics

Administrative Structure

The storyline hasn't detailed how Gilead's government and state function precisely, however a theocratic, inner party of men, more appropriately termed a junta called "Committee" appears to be in charge [2]. They rule from Washington, D.C., which is the capital of Gilead.

Political maps of Gilead reveal that Gilead abolished America's federal system of government and states, and has become a unitary republic with a centralized government and the former states reorganized into larger "districts". On a regional level, Gilead is governed by "Councils" as boards of local Commanders.

Gilead borders Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.

Legislation and Politics

Individual civil liberties enumerated in the now-suspended U.S. Constitution have been replaced by a system of duties and privileges implemented in a hierarchy of social classes, with every former U.S. citizen being assigned to a particular class and expected (and/or forced) to fulfill certain roles (see Society and Class System). Much of this legislation is influenced and justified by a rigid, made-up interpretation of scripture. The name Gilead itself is taken from the Bible, referring to several different locations and generally translated as "hill of testimony."[citation needed]

In particular, Gilead is a patriarchal society, where only men have access to higher education[3]. Women are not allowed to have titles or deeds to property in their name and cannot have a career unless said career is specifically assigned to them by the Gilead leadership. Men are also the only ones eligible to hold political office.

Women are regarded as second-class citizens as they must submit to the authority of men ("Next male of kin"[3]). All female classes are forbidden to read or write[4]. The only women who are still allowed to read and write are the Aunts [5], although Aunts are allowed to be literate, they are still inferior in rank to the Wives, who are considered the paramount rank a woman can hold in Gilead.

Some civil rights however are assumed or confirmed to be suspended for good, e.g. freedom of speech (which is considered heresy), freedom of the press[6], freedom of religion [7] and freedom of assembly[3]. The Eyes serve as Gilead's political police force and sends spies to detect and punish infringements and political opponents[7].

Society and Class System

 See also: Social Classes (Category)

Gilead doesn't practice general equality before the law; while members of different classes can be sentenced variably for identical "crimes" (see Ofglen's case), the individual legal position within one social class appears uniform.


As stated by June (in Baggage), this social 'class' (or group) contains all former male and married female U.S. citizens who "played their cards right" and aren't explicitly reassigned into another class. Flashback scenes in Late suggest male Econopeople can keep some of their pre-Gileadean liberties, like holding down a (remunerated) job or owning property; unlike for females, there is no evidence in the story for the existence of male slave labor outside penal colonies.

Since young females in Gilead are expected to marry when reaching menarche[8], the social class of "Econowives" (as mentioned in the novel) can be seen as a synonym to female econopeople as portrayed in the show. Single men of "low status" are "issued" women by chance[9].


Legal gender discrimination implies different rights to levels of education for boys and girls in Gilead. In particular, girls aren't taught to read or write and they leave school when reaching menarche and marrying[10]. Daughters of privileged families attend a Premarital Preparatory School at this point.

Female Classes

Women are believed to be the "lesser" sex, who should be subject to men. Women's main purpose in this society is bearing and raising children, which is given particular emphasis due to the possible rampant infertility present in North America at the time. Women are not allowed to participate in the government, be educated, hold property or have a career[3]. By law, only women can be considered infertile, not men, thus placing the blame for the fertility crisis solely on women. Because of these beliefs, men cannot "factually" be infertile, even if this is the case; to suggest otherwise is heresy[citation needed].

  • Wives are the highest-ranking women. They can issue limited commands to Aunts[4] and Guardians[11]. Despite their ranking, the role and lifestyle of wives is more or less ornamental, with no real power other than their authority over household staff and the influence of their husbands. They wear tailored teal / blue / green dresses.
    • PC are previous Wives whose husbands have died. They wear black garments to signify mourning.
  • Aunts are tasked with overseeing Handmaids, Daughters, and Unwomen. In this capacity they are allowed to read and write[5], a 'special dispensation' not granted to wives. They can issue commands to Guardians, and are able to report 'unseemly' behavior within households, this includes reporting a Commander and his wife (for example, for not conducting a monthly ceremony). Aunts preside over general punishments in Gilead, such as executions and the Colonies. They wear brown garments.
  • Handmaids are women who are fertile who are deemed to be sinful in some way (June, for example, is a handmaid because she was found guilty of adultery). They wear red garments to symbolize fertility, and also because it makes them more conspicuous. A pregnant Handmaid has an elevated status.
  • Marthas are servants, and are expected to live a life of quiet servitude. Prior to Gilead, they were unmarried women of good faith, deemed to be infertile. They wear grey garments, and must wear a veil.
  • Daughters are the usually adopted/abducted female children that are raised by Commanders and their Wives. They attend school, but are not taught to read or write. They wear light pink garments.
  • Econowives are wives to low-ranking men. They are married women of good faith. Like Wives, if an Econowife is fertile, she is allowed to raise her own children. If an Econowife is widowed, she becomes a Martha or Handmaid (if she is fertile). They wear grey garments.
  • Jezebels are prostitutes who are unable to fit into society in some way.
  • Unwomen are generally infertile women (though all single women can be demoted to Unwoman) deemed to be sinful like handmaids. They work as laborers in the Colonies, cleaning up toxic waste. Some in lucky numbers end up in the agricultural fields to produce food entirely self-sufficient. Most die of radiation poisoning. It is a fate some say is worse than death, but to others it is the reverse.

Male Classes

  • Economan is the standard legal class for male adults, without documented discrimination on marital status.
  • Commanders of the Faithful, or Commanders for short, are the apex of Gilead's male hierarchy.
  • Guardians of the Faith, or Guardians for short, are Gilead's soldiers and uniformed police. Some of them serve as bodyguards and personal drivers to Commanders.
  • Sons are the usually adopted/abducted male children that are raised by Commanders and their Wives. They attend school, and are likely expected to become Gilead's future Commanders. They wear light blue garments.
  • Eyes of God, or The Eyes for short, are Gilead's secret police. Though sometimes seen as legally untouchable[12], it is unclear if an affiliation defines a specific legal position.
  • Angels and Professionals, as introduced in the novels, have not (yet) been mentioned in the continuity of the show.
  • Male Unpeople, as documented in the novels, have not (yet) been mentioned in the continuity of the show.

Values and beliefs

The Gilead leadership consists of members of a religious group who believe that their strict interpretation of the Bible is the absolute truth and that in order for people to achieve salvation and live a pure, godly life, they must follow these guidelines. To do otherwise is seen as living in sin, and the guilty must either repent, or be put to death to prevent them from spreading their evil influence to others.

The government propagates a return to "traditional values"[citation needed], modesty and purity in all areas of life are greatly emphasized, particularly for women, who are believed to be more prone to weakness of character and sin[citation needed], and therefore to be blamed for falling birthrates at the time. Thus, women are supposed to be subject to their husbands and not allowed to participate in the government, be educated, hold property or have a career. Furthermore, only women can be considered infertile, not men; to suggest otherwise appears to be considered heresy.

Abortion and contraception are considered some of the greatest sins. Doctors who performed abortions before Gilead's establishment are executed or deported to the Colonies. Fraternization between men and women of different classes is viewed as "fornication"[citation needed] and is punishable by death for all involved[citation needed]. Sex outside of marriage, dependent on the offender's marital status, is a crime. If the offender is married and having sex with someone not their spouse, it is adultery. If the offender is unmarried and having sex, it is fornication[citation needed]. Both are subject to severe punishments, including the possibility of death. Homosexuality, referred to as "Gender Treachery," is considered a sin and a crime punishable by death.

Gilead's leaders are largely using women and minority groups as scapegoats because they can be easily discriminated against. They are also engaged in mass deportation of Jews from America to Israel[13], cramming them into cargo ships – though in practice, many transport ships simply cut corners by dumping their holds once they reach the open sea, leaving them to drown by the hundreds[14]. In the novel, Gilead also discriminates against African-Americans, whom they refer to in their religious rhetoric as the "Children of Ham", and deport thousands to North Dakota to their death. In the Series, all infertile Jewish women are sent to the colonies while all Jewish men were executed and put on The Wall, and Jewish children were converted and presumably ended up with 'fit' parents[citation needed].

In a flashback scene in the last episode of season 3 showing June shortly after being detained while trying to leave Boston, she witnesses the rounding up of children with Down syndrome and those with disabilities into trucks, heavily implying they’re being lead to their deaths. It shows that Gilead also is intolerant of any child with disabilities, with Rose being one exception.

Whilst some of Gilead's leaders and founders are implied to truly believe in the regime, it is hinted [citation needed] that many of them are hypocrites who use Gilead as a means to gain power for themselves. They do not care for its values and ideals at all, and regularly flout its rules whilst punishing others who do so (such as by visiting Jezebel's for sex with the forced prostitutes there-usually a capital crime)[citation needed].

National Economy

 See also: Commander Lawrence's Bookshelf for further details.

Gilead is committed to a decarbonized economic model with a goal of significantly lowering and eventually eliminating emissions[15]. Much of its economy is centered around slave labor--specifically its food sources (there is much mention of the "Agricultural Colonies" where prisoners are sent to do farm work)[citation needed]. Foreign imports is limited to vehicle parts, certain consumer goods and a few covert military imports.[citation needed] Gilead exports food to most countries that are friendly and had been hostile to the United States due to the latter former Sanctions prior to the President's Day Massacre[citation needed].

It is implied as soon as Gilead rid itself of women's rights, Gilead nationalized all remaining properties and bank accounts belonging to US citizens, US corporations and foreign nationals including major foreign corporations.[citation needed] The latter led to international sanctions due to no compensation and no ability to transfer money back to their own nations plus their own nationals being born on US soil.[citation needed] A few years later Japan and Republic of Gilead would resolve seizure of Japanese assets plus their properties and would see Japan lifting its sanctions[citation needed] on Gilead leading to Tourism to Gilead from Japan.

It has been mentioned several times that the Gilead economy is weak and suffering[15], not only due to a lack of international recognition but also due to the war. There is little information about how the war has progressed except that Chicago has been retaken, but it can be assumed that Gilead’s resources have run dry without access to California, the West & Gulf Coast as well as the absence of Texan oil, insinuated to be under the new authority of the Republic of Texas that is still fighting Gilead[citation needed]. Fred Waterford mentions how weak the country's currency has become in Season 1, while certain items, such as oranges and coffee are not readily available[citation needed].

Crime & Punishment

 See also: Laws in Gilead (Main article) The law is absolute in Gilead, as well as in the Colonies. Any rule-breaking or subversion committed either in Gilead or the Colonies must be reported and those who committed them are harshly punished. Criminals are often executed and their bodies displayed on the Wall as a severe warning; the Eyes also use excessive torture and other brutal interrogation tactics on their prisoners. Citing the state's twisted interpretation of biblical verses, punishments often include amputation or mutilation.

Laws on religion

All citizens, including those sent to be worked to death in the Colonies, must follow only Gilead's own official version of Christianity. No other religion or belief system is tolerated; as Gilead rose to power, those of other faiths and of other Christian denominations were forced to convert under threat of torture and execution. In an episode it is said that Jewish rabbis and Jews in general are sent to the colonies or killed except for fertile women[citation needed], while in the books it is stated that Jews in general were dumbed into the Atlantic via boats, originally set for Israel. A man hanged on the Wall in Season 1 Episode 2 has a Star of David visible on the sack placed over his head, indicating he was Jewish. In one episode where June & others enter a church, a sign remains in front, showing officially banned religions, including Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and more (including other Christian denominations).

Forbidden religions sign

A sign in front of a Gilead Church showing banned religious and social groups

In Season 2 Episode 4, June is taken to the Wall where Omar lays dead and hanging and labeled with the Islamic crescent, also demonstrating that large number of Muslims were/are persecuted by the regime.

It is stated throughout the series that many other Christian denominations are persecuted and not recognized by Gilead. An example of which is an empty house Serena Joy and Olivia Winslow walk through. When Serena asks about the previous owners, Olivia claims they were Baptists. In another instance, Moira states that Catholics were excellent at forging passports for American refugees, showing that Catholicism is not tolerated either.


Executions are referred to as "Salvagings" and are held in public. People are executed by hanging, with Handmaids being given the rope to hang the condemned together, thus sharing in the "responsibility" of punishing the wicked [16]. The Handmaids are also forced to stone people and beat people to death for various crimes including rape and endangerment of children[9][17]. Isaac and Eden were executed for adultery by being drowned. Those that are spared execution can be sent to the toxic Colonies, where life is short and brutal. The Colonies are often polluted by rubbish and radioactive waste, and those sent there are tasked with cleaning up, eventually falling ill and dying slowly and painfully. Some regard being sent to the Colonies as a fate worse than death, others may say the reverse [18]. Other punishments meted out to those who break Gilead's laws include the surgical removal/amputation of body parts e.g. fingers, hands and eyes (See also: Redemption). It is stated by June in Morning that spies are crucified and strung up on telephone poles.


See: Geography of Gilead

Gilead’s current sphere of influence over the continental United States is not known, though there are a few details that are mentioned. Due to the war, and as many maps indicate, Gilead has lost control of the West Coast, southern Texas and all of Florida. Many areas, such as the northwest and south, remain unintegrated into Gilead and are conflict zones.


Origins in Society

See also: United States of America, The Takeover

We were asleep before

The idea of a pure, moral society that lets "precious" children grow "in a healthy environment"[19] gained popularity as ecological disasters accumulated, a fertility crisis worsened and birth rates continued to decline, resulting in a common religious revival in the U.S.. Around this time, the "pious" Sons of Jacob movement began to grow in popularity as American society became increasingly radical as a response to these various issues. Newspaper clippings indicate a growing tolerance for violence against the LGBT community (“Still no arrests in raid on gay nightclub”) and right-wing demonstrations at abortion clinics [6], as well as dwindling resistance against government clampdown on civil liberties (“Remaining Privacy Sanctions Lifted”, "Another night of protests”))[20]. In addition, laws are passed which privatized social services[21] and restrictions on birth control are implemented[19].

Political Overthrow

Flashbacks document the start of the Gileadean theocracy with an act of false-flag terrorism at the national Capitol and the White House. Specifically, the attackers succeeded in bombing the White House and firing on the US Capitol building, resulting in the deaths of the (unnamed) US President and most of the cabinet and US Congress members[22]. The National Guard was then called in and martial law was declared[23]. Plans for a similar attack on the US Supreme Court are mentioned[4]. Surviving civil servants later confirmed the government would "continue to function"[22]; flashbacks show a proximity of this government to members of the Sons of Jacob[4].

June states in a retrospect that it was "them" (the Sons of Jacob) who attacked Congress and "temporarily" suspended the constitution[3], which is confirmed in the flashbacks of A Woman's Place), but originally the government pushed the narrative that “terrorists” (insinuated to be Islamic terrorists) were responsible for the attack.

Fall of the United States

See also: Events

Although the terrorist attack effectively decapitated most of the U.S. government and supervisory authorities, civil servants confirmed to the Boston Globe a capable government, in which the Sons of Jacob movement apparently succeeded to increase influence[24], during a period of martial law in which the U.S. Constitution was suspended "to chase terrorists[3]", but in reality this period never ended, and it was instead used directly to dismantle what remained of the United States.

Sometime before the Republic is declared, the regime restricts internet access. June mentions that state-supported 'decency codes' censored online material.[25] Travel restrictions were imposed and borders were closed.[26] A law forbidding women from owning property is declared and American women's bank accounts were frozen; their wealth was transferred to the accounts of their husbands, fathers, or closest male relatives. Working women were dismissed from their jobs: A new paramilitary force named Guardians systematically cleared women out of all places of employment. Initially there were protest marches and demonstrations against these actions but they were met with violent assault by the emerging government's paramilitary forces[3].

Divorce and homosexuality were outlawed; existing divorce contracts and same-sex marriage licenses were retroactively nullified. As these policies take effect, people who run afoul of the new laws begin to flood American airports in an attempted mass exodus. A scene at Boston's Logan Airport depicts a full-scale military occupation of the airport, with families being separated by immigration and ICE officials as crowds storm the airport in an effort to flee the country[26]. Around the same time, people who couldn't flee through airports began fleeing on foot to Canada (and possibly Mexico), such as Moira's and June's first escape attempt. Moira mentions to June that her fiancé, Odette, was rounded up in the “dyke purges,”[9] suggesting that the rising Gileadean regime rounded up gay and lesbian people and killed them or sent them to the Colonies.

Some American government, civilian, and military officials survived the destruction of the US and fled to Canada and to the U.S.' two outlying states of Alaska and Hawaii or elsewhere. A new capitol of the U.S. is declared in Anchorage[27].

An official proclamation of the "Republic of Gilead" is implied but not shown: When June's family tries to flee after women’s assets and finances were liquidated, they’re told that American passports are useless,[28] insinuating that by that time, the new regime already existed and started using own travel documents.

Rise of Gilead

Sometime after the establishment of Gilead, flashback scenes show cultural changes of life shortly after the creation of the new regime: As Moira and June attempt their first escape from the Red Center, they witness bond fires as men throw books, papers and clothes into the fires. Later, when entering the metro for Boston, workers are seen chipping away at the written signs, to be replaced by Gileadean pictograms[29]. In Serena's new neighborhood, Nick, Marthas and the Eyes throw out books, magazines, and any relic of the old American government, including clothes that don't fit the Gileadean class system[4].

Whereas for their part, June and Moira .

The War

While The War had begun with the creation of Gilead and the proclamation of the rivaled United States government in exile, The War has become complicated as new factions and borders have emerged, blurring the boundaries of the Republic alongside the rebellions. It is stated that sometime after the conflict began, Texas proclaimed independence, while Chicago was thrown into the conflict as Gilead overtook the United States. Throughout the series, active warzones are stated to be in California, Texas, Florida and Chicago, while specific details of the conflict remain unknown.

Cultural Transformation

Alongside the initial book burnings, implementation of Gileadean pictograms and the erasure of non-Gilead clothing, various levels of cultural erasure have taken place throughout Gilead. An art purge of sorts is alluded to a few times in the series, first mentioned by barista Billy that the Lawrence house is full of priceless art since he "raided the art museums the first chance he got"[30]. By contrast, Serena is thankful that so much art "was recovered from the Art Institute"[31].

Washington D.C. is completely transformed in the short time it's been under the new regime. Major examples of this transformation include the Washington Monument having been transformed into a giant cross, the Lincoln Memorial being partially destroyed, with its writing completely chipped off, and the Union Station being completely destroyed.

Media in Gilead

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  • Reason: Lack of citations.

The media and the news are strictly state-run, heavily censored, and often include propaganda to promote the ideals and values of Gilead, whilst demonizing their enemies[citation needed].

It is unknown if the Internet exists to the wider public, but it is thought that it is non-existent, as June says "When there were all those things. Before the Internet raids, before the decency codes, and all the hangings", alluding to a permanent purge of sorts.

To discourage anyone except Males and Aunts from reading and writing, public writings or names of any kind, including shop signs, are removed. Information is instead relayed by signs with pictures or pictograms. Anything secular is banned outright and anybody regardless of class and rank found in possession of such items are punished severely, up to and including execution[citation needed].

Foreign Relations

The series leaves geopolitics in the background and the details of Gilead's contact with the outside world are mostly a mystery.

However, Serena Waterford mentions that Gilead is currently under economic sanctions imposed by the U.N., presumably for human rights violations and the overthrow of the American government. Fred Waterford mentions that Gilead is not recognized as a 'sovereign state' by other countries. Scenes in the series depict sparsely-stocked shelves in grocery stores; oranges (presumably because Gilead has no control of Florida) and 'real' coffee are commodities. These austere conditions suggest that Gilead is suffering from a lack of trade as a result of global sanctions.

Much of Gilead's relations with the outside world are depicted through the limited interactions between Canada and Gilead, the latter's immediate neighbor to the north.

Canada does not have official relations with Gilead and its government maintains a close alliance with what is left of the United States, if the presence of a U.S. consulate in Toronto is any indication. Canada accepts refugees fleeing from Gilead, although many are relocated to other countries; the United Kingdom is mentioned as being one such country and there is a mention of several British "Save the Women Societies" working on behalf of female refugees from Gilead.

Newscasts mention that Canada is still recovering from a loss of trade with the fallen United States, and consequently it would appear that certain elements within Canada had sought the possibility of some trade with Gilead or an easing of sanctions but these efforts failed. Canadians find themselves in a difficult diplomatic situation. They are home to a large number of American refugees to U.S. military personnel and are well-aware of Gilead's human rights abuses, but they are also trying to avoid open conflict with their southern neighbor.

Mexican diplomats have visited Gilead although the success (or lack thereof) of that meeting is never explicated, though it is insinuated that previous diplomatic missions were a success through the mentioned importation of chocolate by Eden. A Swiss diplomat acting as an neutral intermediary between the governments of Canada and Gilead describes the latter as a 'black box,' which is 'extremely powerful, militarily,' suggesting that the outside world has little knowledge of the Gilead's inner workings.

It is also stated during a news broadcast on Radio Free America that China and India are financially aiding the U.S. Government-in-exile (based in Anchorage, Alaska) and Luke Bankole reads that British and Canadian military forces are conducting exercises near the Canada-Gilead border, indicating that the outside world regards Gilead as a rogue state.

By Season 4. Gilead does maintain a Representative office in Canada and maintain trade ties mainly to consumer and products of Food and Fuel. Automotive parts are also imported into Gilead to keep vehicles maintained. Gilead maintains some similar ties with much of the world at a level that Visas to Gilead are only for Business people and their families and are escorted by minders employed by the Eyes It also allows foreign diplomats to visit and probably receives military weapons from other countries on a limited basis. Since Gilead was also illegally formed, all imports are usually paid for by cash by a unknown currency possibly a successor to the US dollar after the US Dollar and foreign currency reserves were spent.

Within Season 5, Serena Waterford revealed that recognition efforts of Gilead in South America are stalled, while Venezuela has expressed interest in the Handmaid system alongside Mexico in Season 1. Serena in Episode Four attempted to reach out to various nations, including Venezuela and Germany before being shut down. In the aftermath of the botched air raid on Hannah's Wife School, Russian, North Korean & Chinese diplomats congratulated Gilead on their victory.

Other Facts

Gilead's names for shops, streets and certain concepts or practices are often derived from scripture. The name Gilead itself is taken from the Bible, referring to several different locations and individuals and generally translated as "hill of testimony."


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  • Reason: A living person is quoted with no evidences given. It is unclear if the quotes are genuine

As Margaret Atwood has explained in various interviews, the "Sons of Jacob" and the "Republic of Gilead" they created, cynically don't actually believe in their own religious propaganda – almost every member of Gilead in a position of power, such as the Commanders, is at various points breaking their own rules, or expressing that they are simply using this as rhetoric. Atwood didn't conceive of Gilead as a Christian totalitarian regime, but a totalitarian fascist regime rising in the United States which happens to use some empty vestiges of Christianity to justify itself[citation needed].

Atwood looked at the rise of various totalitarian fascist regimes throughout history and concluded that it always rises around some central trappings of national identity, and that in her estimation, the national character of the United States has always been shaped by religious movements. Similarly, Nazi Germany used trappings of past rhetoric about prior Germanic empires such as Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire and the pre-World War I German Empire or latched onto pre-existing European discrimination policies against disempowered groups (Jews, Roma, homosexuals, left-wing/far-left Social Democrats and Communists, anti-Nazi Germans etc.) – but fundamentally, this was just a convenient scapegoat for what was at heart a hyper-nationalist junta that wanted to seize power for itself. Atwood tried to imagine what a totalitarian regime would look like if it took over the United States, and as the saying goes, "When fascism comes to America, it will come carrying a cross and draped in the Stars and Stripes."[citation needed]

Atwood also said that Gilead was partially inspired by the Religious Right's reaction in the 1980s to the Women's Rights movements of the 1970s, during the Reagan years. In particular, Atwood was reacting to large-scale but baseless propaganda being circulated by hard right-wing religious groups that abortion and contraception access was leading to a "white genocide," and that the birthrate among White Americans was sharply declining - despite the fact that there was no evidence to support this, and that census data proved it to be blatantly incorrect.[citation needed]

Atwood's vision of Gilead also draws inspiration from the "utopian idealism" present from 20th-century communist regimes such as Pol Pot's Kampuchea (aka Cambodia) and Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania as well as earlier New England Puritanism, which held a new, "pure" society could be created in a short time (often leading to massive losses in life).[citation needed]


Flags (chronologically)


For the complete geography and detailed map information about Gilead, go to Geography of Gilead.


  1. Episode 8, "Jezebels"
  2. The Committee is requested to introduce the social class of Handmaids, in Episode 1.8, Jezebels
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Episode 1.3, Late
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Episode 1.6, A Woman's Place
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 2.5, Seeds
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode 2.3, Baggage
  7. 7.0 7.1 Episode 1.2, Birth Day
  8. Episode 3.9, Heroic
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Episode 1.1, Offred (TV Episode)
  10. see e.g. Eden Blaine, in Seeds
  11. Episode 3.1, Night
  12. e.g. Offred to Nick, in Faithful
  13. XII Jezebels, Section 31
  14. Novel, Historical Notes
  15. 15.0 15.1 Fred Waterford in Episode 1.6, A Womans' Place
  16. Episode 3.7, Under His Eye
  17. Episode 1.10, "Night"
  18. E.g. Aunt Lydia in June (Episode)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Terms used in a discussion about parental capacity, flashback of episode 2.1, June
  20. See June's clipping wall
  21. Flashback of episode Unfit
  22. 22.0 22.1 Boston Globe article: In the aftermath of Americas bloodiest day
  23. Episode 2.1, "June (TV Episode)"
  24. Flashbacks in ep. A Woman's Place show Commanders as U.S. officials in the aftermath of the attacks
  25. Season 3 Episode 9
  26. 26.0 26.1 Episode 2.2, "Unwomen"
  27. Episode 1.2, "Birth Day"
  28. Episode 1.7, The Other Side
  29. Episode 1.4, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"
  30. Episode 3.11, "Liars"
  31. Episode 3.6, "Household"