I’m finally sharing my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale and OMG! It feels like ages since I last posted. Settling into a new environment has never felt this hard for me. Thankfully, I’ve reached the point when I can finally relax and enjoy the process of becoming a better version of myself career wise and personally. On that note, I’m back to reading again and hopefully, I can maintain the tempo with blogging. So help me God!
In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s Commanders. Deprived of her husband, her children, her freedom and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning and a tour de force of narrative suspense, the Handmaid’s tale is a modern classic.
The Handmaid’s Tale was an interesting read for me. I decided to read the book when its sequel, The Testament was shortlisted for the Booker Prize even before its release to the reading public. The judges had glowing remarks about the book. Added to that fact, the TV series I think has been a hit as I’ve come across reviews from those who watch and their anticipation for new episodes. So I decided it was a must read for me and I wasn’t disappointed.
First of all, I loved the writing. It had a poetic edge to it which made the words wrap closely around my brain. I’ve always loved poetry even though times without number, I find it difficult to understand. So imagine my excitement reading a book that feels like a perfect blend of poetry and prose. I was hooked.
The Handmaid’s Tale highlighted the sufferings of women in particular in an imagined totalitarian society. The young women called the Handmaids lose their true identity and assume a new and sole societal role of birthing babies for an elite group of men called the Commanders. In every sense of the role, they have become baby factories and they were doomed if their factory failed to produce. The most cringe worthy aspect of this form of slavery was that the slave drivers were women. This goes a long way to highlight how women sometimes push for the downfall of their fellow women in our real world. It’s like an unhealthy competition of sorts. The hashtag #womensupportingwomen cannot be overemphasized. If these women in power called the ‘Aunties’ had fought to protect these young handmaids, maybe we would have a different story.
I’m curious about what happens to the girls born of these handmaids, when they grow up. They’ll probably belong to an elite class of women, ’high-born’, just because their fathers are the Commanders. Further stratifying an already unjustly stratified society.
The religious fanaticism of the Aunties and their false interpretation of certain aspects of bible to support their skewed beliefs is really laughable. This happens in real life. We all read the bible differently. Some people pick on certain verses of scripture which they turn around to use falsely to their advantage. All the more reason, we should pray for inspiration from the Holy Spirit before reading the bible. It’s not bad enough that they have false interpretations, they also force these beliefs on everyone and ban all sorts of things. Trust me, the Republic of Gilead is somewhere nobody would ever want to be born into even if you are part of the elite class. I’m a sucker for good morals but there is a reason God gave us ‘free will’. Fanaticism will always remain extreme and it’s the reason for religious crises.
After reading The Handmaid’s The, I’m curious to read The Testament to see what becomes of Offred. She was dogged in her will to survive the hardship and slavery forced upon her.
This was an interesting book laden with suspense which made it a page-turner. I hope The Testament lives up to the hype and answers all the hanging questions!
Thanks for reading. CIAO!