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 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Karen We
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PostSubject: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood   Sat 24 Oct 2009, 11:57 am

This was quite an interesting read. I wasn't quite sure what this book was really about at first because the whole premise was quite bizarre. But then as I read further on I was quite intrigued by what Atwood was trying to get at with her story.

In this futuristic tale, the main character recounts her experiences as a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a twenty-first century authoritarian society run by radical Christian funamentalists. Women have ben reduced to the status of breeders. They are not allowed to read, write or own anything. Money has been taken away from them. Because of the fact that 90% of women are sterile due to chemicals, pollutants and other environmental hazards that have plagued earth, the only job of women like Offred, the main character is to get pregnant to help the population grow. Woe to women who are not of childbearing age because their option is to be shipped off to the colonies where they clean up toxic waste and usually die within two to three years.

So as I said, I was reading this trying to make this story make sense. It just goes against everything that we're used to as women living in America and enjoying the rights and priviledges that we value as human beings. In this book, women were branded property who couldn't even keep their birth name and had to take the name of the commander they lived with. They were on a lower class than animals.

It made me shudder to think that this could ever happen. But then I read what other readers of the book had written and one post made me think. This person wrote that this story reminded her of what really does happen to women in other countries currently. They are told to cover themselves and not to show any skin as to bring attention to themselves. They are viewed as their fathers' or husbands' or brothers' property and not allowed any freedoms or rights. If anything, this book reminded me just how lucky I am to be living where I live and in this day and age. We should never take our lives for granted and hope that other women's lives can be changed so they can experience what we do every day.
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