Love it! I read somewhere Philip was asked what this book was about and responded with "what happens when Sarah Palin is elected president." The bookLove it! I read somewhere Philip was asked what this book was about and responded with "what happens when Sarah Palin is elected president." The book is a distopian young adult novel. It centers on a young woman on a journey of self discovery and self revelation. This book depicts three brutal murders and illustrates live with fear. The government is controlled by the elected leader, a conservative religious zealot, and her right hand man, the head of their faith. The Holy Man is missing when the novel begins and through out it the main character and the reader are left trying to figure out what exactly happened to him and to everyone else around him. The religious community has high esteem for a missing serial killer who disappeared years ago, but eventually the reader is let in on this secret as well. I particularly enjoyed the ending because we're left not knowing whether our heroine makes it out safely to her brother and lover. Thumbs up for a quick and easy read about the horrors of conservative Christianity taking over the government. ...more
So far this is my least favorite of Atwood's books. It is a collection of short stories; the stories have shared feminist themes like most of Atwood'sSo far this is my least favorite of Atwood's books. It is a collection of short stories; the stories have shared feminist themes like most of Atwood's work. I do have three favorites despite it not being my favorite of her works: "The Man from Mars," "When It Happens," and "The Grave of the Famous Poet."
"The Man from Mars" is an interesting tale about a woman being stalked by another student. There is an awesome twist at the end of the story when the woman narrator inquires about what happened to her stalker after he was sent out of town. Turns out he was deported later after stalking another woman...the man stalked women indiscriminately. The woman narrator is hurt by this information, because it means she isn't special after all.
"When It Happens" is about an older couple told through the point of view of the wife. She is worried about things changing: war, technology, the children. She spends a great deal of time watching thing change around her.
"The Grave of the Famous Poet" has to be my favorite of the stories. It is about a young couple, and their relationship is ending. There is a specific quote which just had me, "We love each other, that's true whatever it means, but we aren't good at it; for some it's talent, for others only addiction."...more
Absolutely amazing and equally horrifying. The Handmaids Tale makes you put it down and remind yourself it is just fiction. A co-worker asked me whatAbsolutely amazing and equally horrifying. The Handmaids Tale makes you put it down and remind yourself it is just fiction. A co-worker asked me what I was reading apparently I looked intense, "The stripping away of women's rights layer by layer until there is nothing left."
The truly disturbing aspect of this book is the last chapter the historical essay written on it. Chilling as you read fake essay; the purpose to make it all the more believable.
Now, I'm not an alarmist. I don't believe the conservative right are going to take my rights away in a day, which is the narrator's perspective in the novel. However, that it debatable because Moria seemed to be aware of the impending future. This book becomes all the more relevant as we see states banning gay marriage and restricting abortion.
The book...women and men are classified; they have different jobs. Men are commanders (heads of households/important government officials), guardians (protectors), angels (soldiers), and eyes (spies). Women are wives (do I need to explain?), marthas (domestics), and handmaids (baby machines). There are of course people who live outside these classifications as well, but really they have a smaller role. The wives and the handmaids hate their lives, and I believe so do the marthas. Suicide rates feel kind of high in the novel. Oh, and of course "unwomen" who can't produce children within three chances; they are sent to the colonies, and no one wants to go there.
The scary thing about this novel is the explanation of how easily this could happen. The government takes your bank account and gives it to a male relative and then women are forbidden to work outside the home. Our narrator points out that immediately her husband likes the new arrangement. She says that she belongs to him instead of them belong to each other. There are moments when our narrator mocks her mother for the old feminist ideals; they aren't needed.
The shining light? Mayday. Mayday is the signal of the revolution. Because in societies like this there is always a revolution. Our narrator's guardian lover tells her "Mayday," and we are expected to believe that she gets out and he wasn't an eye.
I give it a 5/5 and then some if I could. I feel like everyone should read this novel....more