Elfira's Reviews > The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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** spoiler alert ** My notes (full of spoilers ahead):

- I love how this book limits how we perceive a dystopian system, only through the handmaid’s eyes and later by the “colder” perception of historians.

- I wish to know the timeline of when the Gilead was formed. Offred was only 35 years old at the time and the “normal” days were like a very distant past. How did it happen so fast?

- When Offred felt terrified and realized how powerful the government was, I can’t help but remember 1984 by George Orwell. I didn’t intend to compare but there’s an instant thought that Big Brother is scarier, maybe because there’s horrifying torture happened before the character accepted the Big Brother.

- When the historian presented who they thought was Offred’s Commander, I was quite surprised that the options are one of Gilead architects. When Offred described him in her story, he didn’t seem that “evil”, just someone who did their job very well. And how the Commander treated Offred, with the Scrabble, magazines, and taking her to the club, what was that? Did he not know his idea helped build a horrible system which he himself did not like its implementation? Or did he just miss parts of the past and since he had power, he might as well enjoy it? Did the historian guess incorrectly? Maybe they were not Offred’s Commander.

- The sentences are so well written that makes me want to read more Atwood’s books.
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Reading Progress

December 21, 2017 – Shelved
December 21, 2017 –
page 34
10.49% "There is one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it."
December 22, 2017 – Started Reading
December 27, 2017 –
page 195
60.19% "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. For them, one and one and one and one don’t make four."
December 27, 2017 –
page 214
66.05% "I would come upon them, here and there in the house, the houses; tracks of her presence, remnants of some lost intention, like signs on a road that turns out to lead nowhere. Throwbacks to domesticity."
December 30, 2017 –
page 320
98.77% "As the architects of Gilead knew, to institute an effective totalitarian system or indeed any system at all you must offer some benefits and freedoms, at least to a privileged few, in return for those you remove."
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: fiction
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: science-fiction
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: origin-english
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: author-canadian
December 31, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2018 – Shelved as: my-first-read-for-this-author

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