Moira is taken to be a Handmaid soon after Offred.
It is his belief that the Commander was a man named Frederick R.
A state TV broadcast mentions they have been relocated "en masse" to "National Homelands" in the Midwest, which are suggestive of the apartheid-era homelands set up by South Africa.
The new regime moves quickly to consolidate its power, overtaking all other religious groups, including traditional Christian denominations.
According to Professor Pieixoto in the epilogue, "Serena Joy" or "Pam" are pseudonyms; the character's real name is implied to be Thelma.
Due to the totalitarian nature of Gileadean society, Atwood, in creating the setting, drew from the "utopian idealism" present in 20th-century régimes, such as and , as well as earlier New England Puritanism.