Friday, July 19, 2013
Review: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Here is the summary of this story from the back of the book:
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...
This book terrified me. Literally terrified me. I mean, the government started slowly taking away the rights of women, and everyone was okay with it, because they thought it would protect them from terrorists. And it is so easy to see how that could happen in real life, right here. What a scary thought.
Do you guys ever read a book you love so much that you have trouble putting your love for it into words?? That's pretty much this book. So I'm sorry if this is a bit of a ramble.
Atwood once again has stunned me with her ability to create new worlds. I mean, like I said, this seemed so real and so possible that it was scary. I kept wanting Offred and the other Handmaids to stand up to society and be like "fuck you", but for obvious reasons they really couldn't.
Also the notion of only being worth something if you could have children, that is not something I would be okay with. Childbearing in general is not something I see myself doing. Love kids, but don't want any of my own. That's what dogs are for :) So the fact that these women prayed to get pregnant so that they wouldn't be sent off to a camp was sad and also scary. I mean, if you want to have kids, getting pregnant and being pregnant and having a child should be something joyful and exciting, but these women knew their babies would be taken from them, but that they had to have them in order to survive.
I highly, highly recommend this one. It will stay in your head for a long time. This is definitely one of my new favorite books.
Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Date of Publication: 1998
Number of Pages: 311
Source: Personal Copy