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The epilogue is a transcript of a symposium held in 2195, in a university in the Arctic.
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Overview... The epilogue is a transcript of a symposium held in 2195, in a university in the Arctic. Gilead is long gone, and Offred's story been published as a manuscript titled The Handmaid's Tale. Her story was found recorded on a set of cassette tapes locked in an army footlocker in Bangor, Maine. The main part of the epilogue is a speech by an expert on Gilead named Professor Pieixoto. He talks about authenticating the cassette tapes. He says tapes like these would be very difficult to fake. The first section of each tape contains a few songs from the pre-Gileadean period, probably to camouflage the actual purpose of the tapes. The same voice speaks on all the tapes, and they are not numbered, nor are they arranged in any particular order, so the professors who transcribed the story had to guess at the intended chronology of the tapes.
Pieixoto warns his audience against judging Gilead too harshly, because such judgments are culturally biased, and he points out that the Gilead regime was under a good deal of pressure from the falling birth rate and environmental degradation. He says the birth rate declined for
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