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The step of Vere sounded on the gravel path where he walked beneath the window. He was making a trip of inspection, and would find no light shining from the room. I was about to rise and call down a word of reassurance to him, when a current of spiced air passed by me. I sat arrested in hope and expectancy.
Desirable Death -stinations:. Play spooky games. Writing jobs. Work at home. Email Name Then Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure. I promise to use it only to send you Phantasm Magazine. For Download. All rights reserved. Ooo La La. Paranormal Romance! Do you love ghosts? Ghost Stories For Download The ghost stories here are available for download. For this long corridor, lit faintly by high windows on the left from the verandah, was very narrow, owing to the mass of shelves and fancy tables it contained. It was not that I feared to knock over precious things as I went, but, that, because of its ungenerous width, there would be no room to pass another person--if I met one.
And the certainty had suddenly come upon me that somewhere in this corridor another person at this actual moment stood. Here, somehow, amid all this dead atmosphere of furniture and impersonal emptiness, lay the hint of a living human presence; and with such conviction did it come upon me, that my hand instinctively gripped the pistol in my pocket before I could even think.
Either some one had passed along this corridor just before me, or some one lay waiting at its farther end--withdrawn or flattened into one of the little recesses, to let me pass. It was the person who had opened the door. And the blood ran from my heart as I realized it.
Outside fell the monotonous drip, drip from trees and bushes, likened by Phillida to a horrid clock.
The fog was a sounding-board for furtive noises that grew up like fungi in the moist atmosphere. The thought of Phillida and Vere down in the pleasant living room tempted me almost beyond resistance. That's how I felt reading this book. Kinda like Atwood was being childish about withholding the plot information because it gave her literary power and control over the reader, and keeps them hostage. Then I couldn't ignore this overwhelming feeling that the philosophy of this story was going to be something that didn't sit well with me.
However, I slowly realized it was just a typical novel, with no outstanding profundity whatsoever. In the back cover of " The Handmaids Tale ", it goes on to say: " Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling It was probably noticed during one of those moments of frustration where I single-handedly flipped the book around wondering, "whatthefuckingfuck?
I'll give you a perfect example of how she used this "trend". I'm reading about women in habits, who seem to be pious and obedient, living in the Republic of Gilead. They walk with their heads bowed down, two by two whispering words to each other, such as "blessed be", "may the Lord Open" and "I receive with joy". And this goes on say for about pages or so.
Then suddenly out of the blue you read, "He's fucking me". Now it's not that I don't like the word "fuck". Not as in "I like to fuck", but as in, "Fuck, my food is burning", or "Fuck, I got my period on the mattress again". So it's not like I'm a "fuck" prude, cause I'm not. It's just that it didn't seem to fit in with the theme of the book and it was cheaply thrown in for shock value to keep up with the "trend". Now can anyone sit there and tell me Atwood couldn't have better and more eloquently described that scene?
Halfway through the book, I stopped and assessed what I had gotten from it so far.. It certainly had moments of intrigue, I give it that much. Of course it had to have had intrigue because it's a pretty popular book. But Atwood's writing from the beginning is so flawed. It's as if it went straight from her hands to publishing without being proof-read or edited.
the barrens others tales of awe and terror Manual
I'm not a writer, but I am a reader, and I think I'm certainly capable of recognizing whether a book flows or not, and this book just doesn't flow at all. And what pisses me off the very most is that Margaret Atwood is presently supposed to represent one of Canada's top leading modern authors. Just because a book sells a lot doesn't mean squat. It's just a trend, a fad. I was like, WHAT!!?? Look at The Davinchi Code. Yes, I enjoyed the novel a lot, but I also recognize that Dan Brown probably won't be included as part of the American literary canon in years either.
Margaret Atwood, in my humble opinion is not the greatest of writers. I've seen reviewers on goodreads who are better at writing than she is. The only decent thing about this novel was the story-line, and even that seemed like Daniel Steel fluff. Oh and the other thing that got me was that the entire female democracy has fallen apart and all Of-Fred could think of was her need to have sexual intimacy with a man. Not to mention that she never seemed appropriately upset about the fact that her husband and daughter have been taken from her. The wolverines?
The other major problem with this novel is that there were so many questions unanswered. What political reason behind the president day massacre? Who were these people? Why didn't women and their men fight back? Those are questions I'm asking just to humor the book. At this point, the book was so leaky that It's not even worth asking questions about, because there aren't any answers. I thought this book was going to have some psychological depth, but to me it was just like reading a cheap novel. I can go on and on about other things that make this not a great novel, but it's not even worth it.
I'm extremely disappointed.. I thought this was going to be one of the good ones. Updated: I'm currently watching the Handmaids tale on Hulu, and it's one of the best shows I've ever watched aside from breaking bad. Jul 08, AM. This is frightening and powerful. They used to have dolls, for little girls, that would talk if you pulled a string at the back; I thought I was sounding like that, voice of a monotone, voice of a doll. She probably longed to slap my face. But not with any implement. Only with their hands. From the very beginning, I knew how much I was going to like this book.
It beckoned me to see the full force of the situation. The Handmaids, the average woman, have no free will or individualism; they are treated as simple baby producing machines. An oppressive regime is forced upon them, and to deviate from the said standard results in a slow and agonising death. By portraying such a bleak situation, she is able to fully demonstrate what life could be like if we suddenly followed the misogynistic views of the old testament with fierce intensity. Women would have no power whatsoever.
This would be reinforced by a complete cultural destruction and lack of any form of self-expression. They would not be able to read or write; they would not be able to speak their minds. It would even go as far as to condition them so powerfully, that they completely lack the ability of independent thought. And, to make it even worse, the women know no difference.
She is forced to repress any sense of individual sentiment. All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind. The notion was devised as a response against a drastic decrease in birth-rates. Men in power have taken complete control of women in both body and mind to insure an increase in the declining birth-rates.
As I mentioned, their individualism is repressed, but the men also prevent any physical freedom. The women are owned by the state, by the men and by corruption; their bodies are nothing more than a means to provide new life. In this, they are degraded to a state of sub-human existence; they are no longer people. Atwood suggests that they are merely a reproductive organ, one that can be discarded without thought, mercy or conscience. This is reinforced on every level; the language delivers this on a revealing scale. The women are simply objects to be used, controlled and destroyed and the slightest hint of nonconformity to such an absurd system.
The best, and most haunting, thing about this novel is its scary plausibility. The culture created is evocative of one that could actually exist. The way the men attempt to justify its existence is nothing short of terrifying. They make it sound perfectly normal. Well, not normal, but an idea that could be justified to a people.
Not that it is justifiable, but the argument they present has just enough eerie resemblance to a cold, logical, response to make it seem probable in its misguided vileness. It is the ultimate means of control in its nastiness. View all 69 comments. Dec 05, Emily May rated it it was amazing Shelves: dystopia-utopia , feminism. In a way that I always try to put into words and always, ultimately, fail. I have read a lot of books over the years and I've liked many, disliked plenty too, loved and hated a smaller amount The Handmaid's Tale is a book that changed my life.
I know, I know, big dramatic statement to make. I hear you. And normally I wouldn't say that, even about books I give five glowing stars; but with this book it is nothing short of the truth. This book was the spark that turned me into a feminist. It was the spark that made me interested in gender politics and, through that, politics in general.
One of my favourite teachers in the world gave me this book and said "I think you'll like this one. I didn't like this book; I loved it. And I hated it. I lost sleep over it. I lived in it. I was so completely absorbed into this world, into this dark but oddly quiet dystopian reality. There is something about the tone of Atwood's novels that works like a knife to my heart. Quiet, rich, the drama just bubbling under the surface of the prose.
Atwood doesn't waste words, she doesn't sugarcoat her stories with meaningless phrases, everything is subtle and everything is powerful. This dystopia is a well-told feminist nightmare. An horrific portrait of a future that seems far too reminiscent of aspects of our own society and its very real recent history. The best kind of dystopian fiction is, for me, that which convinces me this world might or could happen. Atwood's world-building may be sparse and built up gradually as the story unfolds, but she slowly paints a portrait of stifling oppression and injustice that had me hanging on her every word.
For someone like me who was so caught up in Offred's experiences, this book was truly disturbing. In the best possible way. There are so many themes and possible interpretations that can be taken from this book - plenty of which I've literally written essays on - but I'll let new readers discover and interpret the book for themselves.
I will issue you one warning, though: the ending is ambiguous and puts many people off the book. It made the story even more powerful, in my opinion, and guaranteed I would never be able to forget Offred and, indeed, this whole book. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories. View all 72 comments. Nov 29, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: classics , science-fiction , fiction.
The election gave us Willie Horton, and a reminder about how violent and evil society had become. Finally, even though Chernobyl happened shortly after the book was published, the Union Carbide disaster in Bopal, India was still fresh in the headlines—a reminder that even the air is not safe. It was not hard at the time to extrapolate the ultimate end that this cocktail of fundamentalism, conservatism, violence, disease, and disaster would bring, but what Atwood could not know, is how much of her novel would become reality in the world.
Amazingly, twenty years after it was written, there are elements of the story that have become true—perhaps not in the United States, where the story takes place, but throughout the world. It was shocking to read in the book that the initial attack on the US Government was blamed on Islamic Fundamentalists, though the story was written after the Lockerbie Pan Am bombing, and the massacre at the Rome airport. When the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was bombed, the initial reaction by the media was to blame Islamic terrorists, when in fact—like the novel—the terrorism was homegrown.
The scale of the attack that took out the US Government in the novel is also eerily similar to the attacks of September 11, This novel should serve as a cautionary warning about the result of any extremist view taken to its logical conclusion—the Taliban is proof that society cannot dismiss the notions of this book as outrageous and extreme. View all 41 comments. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a tale of terror as well as a warning.
The dystopian future she describes in "Gilead" which appears to be centered in Boston due to the reference to Mass Ave and the town of Salem is chillingly misogynistic where women are reduced to strict categories: Martha for housework and cooking, Jezebels easy to guess, right? It is beautifully written with lots of flashba Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a tale of terror as well as a warning. It is beautifully written with lots of flashbacks of "Offred", the protagonist's name, of how things devolved into the horrors of her present.
It is disturbing because it exposes the politics of reproduction and male sexuality taken to extremes of violence that are shocking and, yet, probably seemed one possible future during the Reaganite 80s when she wrote the book and now feel like the world of which Michael Pence in particular and perhaps Paul Ryan but most definitely Steve Bannon must dream. Could things so change as quickly as she describes in the book?
The Handmaid's Tale
Let us hope not. It was thought-provoking cover to cover. All in all, a very well-written feminist text that should serve as a clarion call for defending women's rights to maintain control over their own bodies and lives now and forever. Just found this article about my last point: here Drumpf's sexist, violent tweet against Morning Joe and the escalating attacks against reproductive freedom are moving the American experiment dangerously towards Atwood's Gilead.
Any of my review readers want to tell me whether the Hulu show about this book is worth my time or not? View all 66 comments. Shelves: feminism-feminist-undertones , cherished , adoration , real-issues-fake-people , man-booker-shortlist-longlist , canada , by-women-who-matter , and-more , dystopian-fiction , disturbia. Consider this not a ground-breaking work of literature. Consider this not a piece of fiction boasting an avant-garde mode of narration. Consider it not a commentary on the concept of subjugation of the weak by the ones holding the reins.
Consider it not a thinly veiled feminist diatribe either. Instead, consider The Handmaid's Tale an almost physical experience. Consider Margaret Atwood a fearless deliverer of unpleasant news - a messenger unafraid of dishing out the bone-chilling, cruel, unalter Consider this not a ground-breaking work of literature.
Consider Margaret Atwood a fearless deliverer of unpleasant news - a messenger unafraid of dishing out the bone-chilling, cruel, unaltered truth and nothing but the truth. Move over Bram Stoker. Move over H. Fade away into oblivion, Edgar Allan Poe. Disappear down the depths of obscurity, Stephen King.
Your narratives are not nearly as coldly brutal, your premonitions not nearly as portentous. Because Ms Atwood, presents to us something so truly disturbing in the garb of speculative fiction that it reminds one of Soviet-era accounts of quotidian hardships in Gulag labour camps. Speculative is it?
Isn't the whittling down of a woman to the net worth of her reproductive organs and her outer appearance an accepted social more? Isn't blaming the rape victim, causing her to bear the burden of unwarranted shame and social stigma a familiar tactic employed by the defense attorney? Hasn't the 21st century witnessed the fate of Savita Halappanavars who are led to their untimely deaths by inhumane laws of nations still unwilling to acknowledge the importance of the life of a mother over her yet unborn child?
Doesn't the 21st century have materially prosperous nations governed by absurd, archaic laws which prohibit a woman from driving a car? Doesn't the world still take pleasure in terrorizing activists like Caroline Criado-Perez with threats of rape and murder only because they have the audacity to campaign for female literary icons Jane Austen to become the face of Britain's pound note? Do I not live in a country where female foeticide is as normal an occurrence as the rising and setting of the sun? Are we still calling this speculative fiction?
Some may wish to labour under the delusion that the women belonging to this much vaunted modern civilization of ours are not experiencing the same nightmare as Offred and are at perfect liberty to do what they desire. But I will not. Because when I look carefully, I notice shackles encircling my feet, my hands, my throat, my womb, my mind.
Shackles whose presence I have become so used to since the dawn of time, that I no longer possess the ability to discern between willful submission and conditioned subservience. But thankfully enough, I have Margaret Atwood to jolt me back into consciousness and to will me to believe that I am chained, bound and gagged.
That I still need to break free. I thank her for making me shudder with indignation, revulsion and righteous anger. I thank her for causing bile to rise up my throat. And I thank her for forcing me to see that women of the present do live in a dystopia like Offred's United States of America. We just prefer to remain blissfully blind to this fact at times. Disclaimer:- I mean no disrespect to the other writers mentioned in this review all of whom I have read and deeply admire. Shelves: , contemporary , booker , dystopias-post-apocalyptic , , , favorites.
What a perfect time to be scared to death by this novel. It doesn't feel dated or far-fetched at all, thanks to President Trump. Claire Danes is a pretty good match for this narrative. Original review Imagine the near future where power is overtaken by the religious right under the guise of protection from Islamic terrorism.
Imagine the future where the roles of the women reduced to those assigned to them in Old Testament - they are no longer allowed to read, work, own property, or handle money. Im What a perfect time to be scared to death by this novel. Imagine that due to the pollution and man-created viruses, the fertility rates are so low that the few fertile women the Handmaids are now a communal property and are moved from house to house to be inseminated by men of power under the watchful eye of their wives.
Imagine the future where women can only be the Wives, domestics the Marthas , sexual toys the Jezebels , female prison guards the Aunts , wombs the Handmaids , or, if they are unsuited for any of these roles, Unwomen who are sent off to the Colonies where they harvest cotton if they are lucky or clean out radioactive waste if they aren't.
Well, after you've imagined that, you can imagine very easily how much I was terrified by this book. As a modern woman, I am horrified by the notion that at some point in time I can become nothing more than a servant, a toy, a reproductive organ. The world created by Atwood seems too much of a stretch of imagination at a first glance, but if the current climate, how implausible this feminist dystopia really is? To say I am impressed by this novel is to say nothing, really. This book is one of those that stays in your brain and you keep coming back to it over and over again.
Having said that, I have to note, that this is definitely not an easy read. Offred the protagonist Handmaid is in many ways a frustrating narrator: she is broken, she is passive, she is desperate and her only goal is to make it through another day. The ending is ambiguous. The narration is complex with constant switching from present to past and back.
But it all worked perfectly for me. For me, "The Handmaid's Tale" is a powerful novel that is in my mind next to Saramago's "Blindness," another book that left me sleepless. Reading challenge: View all 55 comments. Apr 20, Adina rated it it was amazing Shelves: dystopia , canada , classics , , fantasy-sf. Night I am lying awake in my bed.
I keep my eyes closed and beg sleep to come. Outside, the rain is whipping the windows without mercy. My husband is sleeping next to me, oblivious to my struggle. I need my thoughts to go away. I need to forget that I just finished the Handmaid's Tale and its effect on me. But no. How can I review such a book? How can I explain how I feel? I can't say I enjoyed it. I was both dreading and expecting to open the pages. I wanted it to be over, like I want a punishment to be over.
It made me choke; I was uncomfortable and in pain the whole pages. However, I was also in awe to the power and poetry of Atwood's writing. The last novel they made me feel this way was Never Let Me Go. I can still smell the heavy the heavy atmosphere. This is it. Both were about submission to a terrible destiny. I could not understand and accept it then and I cannot do it now. Or can I? What would I do to survive, if submission were the only hope? There is a knot in my throat.
What she wrote in this novel, the world she created is absurd isn't it?
It cannot happen, not in a million years, right? We are past this, we have evolved enough. We cannot get there. It would be terrible, unthinkable. And still Trump is just as dangerous. Le Pen can become the next president in France. Yes the daughter of the man that said that Holocaust did not exist. The world is a dangerous place and freedom is fragile.
We need to open our eyes, be vigilant and never be complacent with what we have so it is not taken from us. I still cannot sleep. The rain becomes even more punishing. My mind races. I think about the past of my country. In the end of the novel, at Historical Notes, there were a few examples of other similar regimes that reacted as Gilead. It said that Romania has anticipated Gilead in the eighties by banning all forms of birth control, and imposing other restrictions.
Ok, there were no compulsory pregnancy tests and promotion did not depend on fertility but a decree was passed by Ceausescu, our last communist president where all birth control and abortion was banned. The punishment for not complying was severe; women were imprisoned and beaten to confess. During the 20 years when the decree was in place, more than 10, women died from illegal, mostly home-made abortions.
Not so long ago. We cannot go back to that, can we? Another hurtful subject. To have your child taken away from you. To be unable to have a child and have your husband conceive with someone else while you watch. A nightmare for any woman or man. No more love, no more sex for pleasure. No, here I draw the line. I cannot see this happen. She tends to write some uncomfortable stuff, that author. And scared. I found in another review an interesting article wrote by Atwood where she discusses the book. Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Oh no, there's been an error
What can I even say that hasn't already been said? I'm awed to my core, this book is a prediction, a revelation, a hymn. This book is so fucking old, yet so fucking relatable and ahead of its time The events in this dystopian book seem like such a close reality which scares me for the future of humanity.
I wanted to read this b 4. I wanted to read this book for such a long time I'm so fascinated by stories like this, dystopian stories that hold truth to them, and I wanted to dive into this book with everything I had. And it happened. This book consumed me, I wanted to know everything, all the little excruciating details of this brand new world, all the thoughts in June's head, everything.
The writing was fascinating and yet sometimes I kinda lost track, especially at the dialogue parts which weren't really dialogue. The pace was a little slow, but I'm so used to YA quick pacing so I don't hold that against it. But this book was never boring or dull, it was everything it should be.
I saw some major differences with the show, the show took some characters and situations and created multiple things that didn't exist in the book. And I commend them on that. The TV show and and the book are two sides of the same coin, what lacked in the former the latter had and the opposite. One thing that let me down about the book is that we didn't see Serena and her relationship with June flourish at all.
Their relationship is such a strong dynamic in the show, it is so fascinating to watch. At least we got to see it develop in the show. I'm so irrevocably happy this story is going to continue, and so soon I've heard. We all know that came to be because of the success of the TV show, but I can't hold that against anyone because the story we are going to follow in the sequel is so much more different than season 2 of the TV show. I can't wait to again devour the next book, and I hope for many nexts. This is my first time reading a book from this author, and I don't think it will be my last.
To sum it all up, read this book. It tackles so many important issues about feminism and liberty of speech and it's even more important to read it if you're a woman. Just do it. You won't regret it. And till the next time, K BYE!!! View all 19 comments. Nov 28, Miranda Reads rated it really liked it. We were the people who were not in the papers. Set in the not-so-distant future, Offred is designated as a Handmaid. Meaning her fertile womb "allows" her to stay in the house of Fred as his legal consort.
Hence the name "Of Fred" and the not-so-subtle foreshadowing "offered". Her alternative? Working in the radioactive wastelands which would undoubtedly lead to her de We were the people who were not in the papers. Working in the radioactive wastelands which would undoubtedly lead to her death within years. So, she stays on as a "handmaid" in the hopes of producing a child by Fred to be raised by him and his wife. Once she fulfills her duties, she'd be passed on to the next man and his wife. As a result, we are forced to read as she is systematically raped by Fred on her fertile nights.
Even she accepted it as a part of life - we see a bit of the conditioning and training brain washing done on new Handmaids. It's a wonder they all weren't more screwed up. According to the introduction, Margaret Atwood did not create any of the rules, regulations and punishments forced upon these women. What she did was take all of the real terrors that women have suffered throughout the ages and force them to happen all at once. Thus creating a single eye-opening dystopian novel. This was a difficult novel to read and while I am glad to have read it once, I plan to never never look at it again.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Blog Instagram Twitter View all 36 comments. A true dystopian classic. The account reminds me of, and is probably written trying to somehow emulate, "The Diary of Anne Frank. This is misogyny to the nth degree. It A true dystopian classic. It is a holocaust that mirrors the treatment of women in the Middle East. But also terrible. It's impact waking me full tilt.
It ends in a very Coen Brothers fashion! That it is tight, then unravels in plot is efficient It belongs in the same shelf as "We," obviously, and I did not find anything funny about it, only pathos and ironic melancholy. Again, kinda like 'em Coens. Not a very well written book. The writing itself is clumsy. It doesn't feel like you're reading a story; it feels like you're reading a piece of writing. Good writers put their words together for a calculated effect, but Atwood's words aren't just calculated-- they're contrived.
In a good piece of writing, you shouldn't see the writer at all. You shouldn't see the structure of their writing. All you should see is the story. If you're seeing the deliberate cadence of a phrase, or the use of repet Not a very well written book. If you're seeing the deliberate cadence of a phrase, or the use of repetition instead of its effect, then these style choices weren't done subtly enough.
If you can see the writer's style through their words, then they're just not doing it right. I think Atwood very much falls into this trap. Her style lacks the subtlety required to tell a story like this. The other problem is that it's impossible to forget that this was written in the mids. The appeal of dystopian fiction, I thought, was that it served as a timeless warning against the pitfalls of humanity.
Of course, I'm not a big fan of dystopian writing, so I can only draw on again as a reference, but: the great thing about is that it doesn't read like it was written in It doesn't read as an unambiguous warning against communism, which would make it static and irrelevant today, where the red threat has passed.
It is as yet a timeless story, a warning against the state, which did not discredit itself in , but which instead took on a new meaning. Today, one doesn't read Orwell as a warning against communism in particular, but against oppression in general. What's great about is that it is ambiguous enough to remain dynamic and relevant through reinterpretation, but real enough that it resonates across the years to mean something still. The Handmaid's Tale doesn't carry that kind of resonance. It's just not, to me, that powerful a story, and then Atwood drops in details, devices, that ground it more and more solidly into the mids.
That the novel is set contemporary to her writing it fixes the action in time. She makes reference to real movies, real magazines, real time frames, real places, real events. But to understand them, you need to have an intimate understanding of what was going on in the world in You need to understand what North American culture was like. You need to understand how American history was being interpreted. But you also need to understand that Iran was a new player, a new threat on the world stage, and you need to understand how the world reacted to it.
But these background concepts are not universal, nor are they timeless. Already people are forgetting about the s brand of feminism, and already people are forgetting about the Iranian revolution. And North American culture is not a homogeneous as it once was: today the religious right could not stage a coup as is described in the novel, because there are too many diverse groups and networks today who would oppose it. Arguably the religious right has seized power, but not like that. Atwood's vision of an extremist revolution is dated, which makes me question the validity of the other warnings she puts forth.
That's not to say that I think it's a bad book. Atwood does advance some chilling theories about the future of mankind, and even as I sat there shaking my head and going, "that could never happen," the possibilities are deeply disturbing. The novel served as a warning in its own time, and it is interesting to read it with that in mind.
And if you like dystopian fiction, then it is definitely worth a read. I just have a problem in reconciling the novel's message with today's reality, where Atwood's fears actually seem to be the least of our worries. View all 51 comments. Yarelis More than 10 years have passed. What do you think of it based on today's political climate? I am genuinely curious. May 23, PM.
Amanda Lawrenson I've not read the book, for some of the reasons you stated in your review. I think you can relate the oppression of women to what goes on in the middl I've not read the book, for some of the reasons you stated in your review. I think you can relate the oppression of women to what goes on in the middle East, but apparently questioning the values of the middle east is considered oppressive these days.
As shown in the middle east a patriarchal society is very dangerous for women. The novel sounds like it explores themes of what would happen if a religious right group came into power in America, but like the review says it is never a real threat as too many opposing more mainstream groups. There is democracy and freedom of speech so I'm not sure how people see similarities between the trump administration of today and a dystopian book about total suppression and control of women After reading 'The Handmaid's Tale', I can see why this dystopian classic has made such an impression on so many.
This is a book that definitely hangs with you, haunting your thoughts, long after you finish the book. It is thought-provoking and terrifying. The story centers on the heroine, Offred, who is a "handmaiden" in this futuristic world created by Ms. As a handmaiden, Offred's sole purpose is to produce a baby for the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy.
Once she has served her purp After reading 'The Handmaid's Tale', I can see why this dystopian classic has made such an impression on so many. Once she has served her purpose, she will be reassigned to another high-ranking man for the same purpose. This pattern will repeat over and over, until she is no longer able to bear children. What happens then, nobody really wants to talk about. Worse yet, if she fails to produce a child then she will face a fate reserved for the lowliest of women. This is the world that Offred and others are left with after a brutal civil war stamped out the rights that citizens like Offred had taken for granted.
The overthrow of the democratic government was gradual The changes that took place were very insidious. One moment, people like Offred were consumed with trivial problems, like where they were going to go out for dinner that night. The next thing they knew, a civil war was raging. Soon, their every movement was monitored closely. Of course, this was for their own "protection" and "safety". Then, women weren't allowed to hold jobs or manage their own money. After all, the poor little dears shouldn't have to bear that burden. A man should handle those sorts of things. Next, anyone that dared to oppose the new regime was eliminated.
Before long, citizens like Offred cannot even recognize their new reality. They are stuck under the rule of an incredibly oppressive, misogynistic regime. Worst of all, their complacency paved the way for this gradual overthrow. Little by little, they handed over their rights with little resistance. They refused to see the writing on the wall and wanted to believe the lies that they were spoon-fed. Once they wised up, it was too late. Now, they are a people broken. Women, especially, face a grim fate. This book is remarkable! Although it can be rather slow-moving at times, the message was powerful.
This story serves as a cautionary tale and a necessary reminder. Civil rights are hard won and easily lost. It is easy to draw comparisons to many of this books' events and the events of the past and present. Atwood highlights many important issues and offers a great deal of social commentary. There were so many important topics that she touched upon that I can't even begin to list them. This book is considered to be a classic for a reason. It is a book that needs to be read and taken in by readers. While it isn't necessarily the most entertaining read, it is certainly one of the most enlightening and thought-provoking.
I highly recommend that everyone read this book, at least once. I don't even know where to start with this book?? I was not able to connect with the Characters in the book at all. It was a task to completely finish this book at all. I know I am in the minority, but I don't know what all the hype was with this book. I think that Atwood was long winded in her writing style and did not help with the connections with the Characters. I honestly don't have much more to say about this book. View all 35 comments. Mar 05, Lyn rated it it was amazing. Told with simplistic prose and stark attention to detail, Atwood describes life in the not too distant future where the United States has been transformed through military coup into a totalitarian theocracy.
This is, to my knowledge, a unique element in the dystopian genre, whereas in many others the setting is some time in the far future and there seems little hope for change or revolution. More than that, the heroine, Offred not her real name but the proprietary title she is given is an approachable, likable character that brings the reader dangerously close to the action. Drawing an obvious correlation between far right conservative Christian movements and Muslim Sharia law authoritarian theocratic ideologies, Atwood has created a disturbing vision.
As the reader experiences the story from the perspective of a mother, this story has the added complexity of nurturing relationships turned horribly askew. View all 40 comments. Jun 24, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-to-read-before-you-die , favorites , margaret-atwood. But SO good!
Update in Year One It's Already Year Two Terrible Two Of Dystopia: As long as you are allowed and capable to read, please do read this novel! In an era when politicians in the Western world are not ashamed to refer to pregnant women as "hosts", deprived of their rights as individuals, we must start speaking up against the steady realisation of dystopian fiction.
Let these authors, such as Orwell, Atwood, or Ishiguro, stay great writers of fiction! Don Terrifying! Don't make them involuntary prophets! If we don't oppose the hypocrisy and illogical idiocy of lawmaking against women's choice regarding unwanted pregnancy, claiming that it is based on moral and religious grounds, we will have a society ruled by 17th century Puritans with an evil modern twist. Let's start implementing that commandment where people are actually dying. I am Pro Life: Let's work to put an end to the distribution and availability of weapons, the death penalty, and wars. Let's speak up for better health care to protect the lives of millions of human beings.
Let's support refugees from other parts of the world that are threatened by war or famines or disease. Let's focus on the big issues that threaten life on earth! Let's care for our environment. Pro Life! Update a couple of months into Year One Of Dystopia: I just listened to an interview with a conservative Catholic politician in the UK who believes so much in the teachings of the Catholic Church that he thinks it is morally indefensible for a woman raped by a family member to have an abortion.
Where is the novelist who can write a science fiction story about him waking up in hell after death and realising that Catholicism was not the absolute truth after all, but Hinduism. He receives the message that his next incarnation on Earth will be a young Catholic girl raped by a priest.
Oh karma! In Year Two of Dystopia we still quote the bible both to justify forbidding abortion AND to cause massive trauma to babies born on the wrong side of a border. Pro Life, anyone? Pro children? View all 68 comments. There's a lot of talk about women's rights these days. There were times where I thought: enough already.
You girls got it good. I looked around me and saw women with strong voices and a million choices. If they wished to go for a career, they could go for it. If they didn't, no biggie. Their liberty seemed greater than men's in a lot of respects. The power they wield over men is magnificent and often described as the greatest humanity is capable of: a woma Don't let the bastards grind you down. The power they wield over men is magnificent and often described as the greatest humanity is capable of: a woman's love.
They can choose to give it or withhold it. Men's political and physical powers look puny and artificial in contrast, as their strings are constantly pulled by forces they can't resist. Somewhere deep inside me I had a hard time believing things could really be so bad for women, with their majority in numbers and all this strenght at their disposal.
But then you turn on the news or you open a history book. You look outside your own country. You look at a presidential candidate talking about women as animals, as goods to be acquired, as territories to be conquered. You see people making excuses for it, making light of it, you see in their eyes they assume that it's normal. You see laws that tell women what to do with their own bodies, in the name of religion or the greater good. You hear of households where tiny kings use their physical power to terrorise their tiny kingdoms.
And then you see all the machinations that have gone into trying to rob women of their mystical, almost holy, powers in greater kingdoms, machinations that often seem on the verge of systematising in the blink of an eye.