Handmaid's Tale

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BadBoyCanada, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. BadBoyCanada

    BadBoyCanada New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Coast
    Went on vacation an decided I should give this book a try. No real reason except a sociology professor (from 1990 when I was at Queen's University) who was a feminist spoke vividly of this book.

    I'm no Margret Atwood fan, but since she is a Canadian icon, I thought I should invest the time.

    The book is a perspective of feminism, written in the mid 1980's. It's quite a dry read, and I'm still processing all its meaning.

    One thing I did find interesting is that the basis of the plot is religious zealots have taken over America because of the failed society. Women are stripped of all their rights and basically a caste system is set-up.

    In 1985 (year of publication), the power of religious political movements was a thing of fiction. Move forward 25 years, and Atwood appears to be a prophet.

    Has anyone read this and like to offer some opinion? I'm an accountant by trade, so stories full of metaphor go way, way over me.

    I realize it has a potent message, but what the hell is it? :confused:
     
  2. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,610
    Likes Received:
    5
    Haven't read it, BBC.
    But I like what you're saying here.
    She is a Canadian literary icon, but I can't get into her.
    And I'm amazed how many literary people feel the same way.
     
  3. wallyj84

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    682
    I read the book in highschool. I thought it was well written and a decent read, but I thought it was a little bit far fetched as a kid.
     
  4. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    BBC,
    I think you are reading that accurately. You are correct that it can be read as a cautionary tale about what might happen if a state becomes a theocracy. One thing in common with all religious extremisst is that they seem to want to roll the clock back to some time in the past, establish the rule of law from their holy books, and they seem to want to subjugate their women.

    The book depicts a kind of theocratic dystopia full of hypocrisy. And as you point out, it is kind of prescient about the future from the point of view of 1985. Consider how many states have legislative actvity these days to allow the introduction of religous notions as alternatives to science in public schools. I think it is about 20 states at any one time.

    As a Christian and an American, I am thankful for the US Constitution's Establishment Clause that seeks to prevent that kind of stuff. It iis designed to keep government out of religion, but just as importantly, it seeks to keep religion out of government.
     
    #4 JustAsking, Aug 31, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  5. helgaleena

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,663
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wisconsin USA
    I think the Xtian fundies and the estrogen mimics in the plastics are making her book come true. :sad:
     
Draft saved Draft deleted