Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Handmaid's Tale

In the very same class where Feed was required reading, we were also introduced to The Handmaid's Tale. A post-apocalyptic novel of a newly formed utopia, which only brings misery and pain, serving as a dystopia, to many liberals of the 80s, including Offred, the handmaid in the title.  In a backlash of feminism, the Republic of Gilead is formed and is based on and governed by Old Testament manner and moral. Anyone who cannot conform to the new ways or lived differently in the past is subject to punishment, exile, or death. 

In this reformed government and society, Offred, and women like her, are separated from their families and made to serve as handmaids. They loose their entire person. Even their names are changed. Offred simply means she is of Fred. As in he is her master. She is handmaid to his wife. Handmaids as in the biblical sense. As in Sariah couldn't have a baby, so she offered her handmaiden to Abraham to produce an heir. Many of the women in the new Republic of Gilead are like Sariah and too old too have babies, and many of the babies made, even by the handmaids, are sickly. Offred's job is to make a baby for Fred and his wife. And this is Offred's story.

The Handmaid's Tale is a very interesting book to read. It's crazy to see how a society can take things too far while trying to to do good. I highly recommend this book to those of ya'll who like post-apocalyptic and utopia/dystopian-style. 

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