Summer’s review of The Handmaid's Tale
> Likes and Comments
(showing 1-5 of 5)
post a comment »
Dec 03, 2007 07:27PM
Huh, that's a really interesting take on it.
It's definitely an amazing book, and very scary. Atwood really captures the dark side of fundamentalist beliefs about women.
Dec 04, 2007 08:17AM
Yeah, it's also kind of interesting, in relation to the book, how much a lot of Radcliffe grads are still very upset over the Harvard/Radcliffe merger - they still really value the Radcliffe women's culture, however subordinate to the Harvard male culture it may have been. Also, a while back I cataloged a handful of books donated to the library in the early 1900s by the Anti-Suffrage Chapter of the Radcliffe Civics Club. The fact that there was a group of intelligent women, receiving the equivalent of a classical Harvard education, who nevertheless were completely against being allowed to vote, is utterly mind-blowing.
Dec 05, 2007 08:51AM
Oh, and also the bit about Aunt Lydia being named after the Lydia Pinkham compound (secret ingredient: 40 proof alcohol!), when Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library has the papers of the Lydia Pinkham corporation and also a bunch of the promotional artwork.
Jun 07, 2008 08:04PM
Apparently, Atwood joked once that the book was inspired by the Harvard English Department. I'm reading a book called "Margaret Atwood's Fairytale Sexual Politics" which pulled her quote about that. I didn't know about that Harvard/Radcliffe history, so I thought it was pretty funny that you should have the same insight!
Jun 08, 2008 08:08AM
Wow, thanks! I'm going to have to look up that book!
I work for Radcliffe's one remaining library and had gotten a crash course in Harvard/Radcliffe history from the Radcliffe archivist shortly before rereading
The Handmaid's Tale
, so it was pretty fresh in my mind at the time.
back to top
post a comment »
Add a reference:
Search for a book to add a reference
Flagging a post will send it to the Goodreads Customer Care team for review. We take abuse seriously in our discussion boards. Only flag comments that clearly need our attention. As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content (eg. pornography, pro-Nazi, child abuse, etc). We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or being critical of a particular book.
© 2014 Goodreads Inc
Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.