Heidi's Reviews > The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Mar 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in November, 2010

It struck me as strange that this book was published over 20 years ago. And it is true that the cooresponding date of 1984 (Orwell) is very much a haunting factor...

Reading it has given me much to think about - which is always a good thing about the literary world - and I am slightly depressed about the "plight" of womankind (like I needed another reason). I swear to whatever power there is... I will unceramoniously end the life of my daughter and self if the events of The Handmaid's Tale ever come to pass.

The ending threw me off course a bit... is it ment to mean that the way of for Gilean people was short lived? A hicup in the grand scheme? Things right themselves? What was the author doing with that? It leaves more questions than answers in my mind, and I don't like it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Veronica I've come to the conclusion that by, yes, making Gilead end up being a blip in history, it mirrors other short-lived tragedies that we look back on and think, "Did that really happen? Really?" It makes us think about how far does a regime need to go before we act to end the inhumanity, esp for those on the outside looking in. Does that make sense?

The ending haunts me by thinking that if this did happen, would anyone care? Would anyone try to stop it? Or would we brush it aside as a blip in history?

Heidi Ahh. Very good point. It’s not so much a sign of hope, but a realistic way of touching on how we look at events with a “scientific” eye instead of our hearts. “Facts” are apathetic in history books aren’t they?

And also this book speaks to the helplessness of people in war-like situations. Offred (was that her name?) and her family try to leave when things get bad... and they are utterly denied. They waited too long of course, but it seams implausible that when the rest of the world is functioning "normally', they are captive in Gilead. That really COULD happen, it DOES for people in the Middle East for instance, and that terrifies me!

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