My rating: 4/5 stars
The first version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood was released in 1985 and was a huge hit, selling millions worldwide. The catch to it was the controversial and unusual plot it spoke about. Recently I’ve found it even has a TV adaptation, in a short mini series.. Really cool:)
This dystopian book gives us a glimpse at a cruel future, in which the boarders of the USA are closed and the country is run by a military organization called Gilliad, which has his root in the Old Testament. This community has severe infertility problems and the only way to be able to perpetuate it is by finding handmaids who serve the rich family from the organization.
Offred, the leading lady, is serving Serena’s Joy family, in which she doesn’t have any rights. She doesn’t have access to education or money, her only purpose is to have the commander babies for as long as her body will allow. She will have sex with him every month in a sort of ritual, which from my POV has “rape” written all over it. She doesn’t trust anymore, has no friends, she is practically brainwashed into having this life, considering it the best one, a privilege almost.
The book brought up a lot of discussions and even if we don’t want to admit it, it isn’t far from the truth in some parts of the world. There are hundreds of places were women are treated like trash and used only for their body, as trade currency. What shocked me in this book is the way all of the handmaids accepted their destiny and didn’t put any fight in this matter. Offred is the only who took a stand, did something, but not as I wanted her to do. This idea of being controlled, used in this manner, is very infuriating for me and considering that present time is all about feminism and empowering, I was not OK with a lot of things brought up here.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood is a very clever mix between religion, politics and ethics, which binds very well, but shocks accordingly. There are a lot of hard scenes that leave you breathless and possibly make you give up on the book, because the realism is raw and powerful. And adding that you constantly have the idea that this type of things are present, just gives this book another strong element to digest and reflect about.