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Thread: The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

  1. #1 The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood 
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    Aug 2008

    The Handmaid's Tale is a chilling look at the horror that results when sexuality and democracy are repressed, and history and religious dogma are reinterpreted to aid in consolidation of authority. Interestingly Atwood stayed away from big-picture issues, and instead concentrated on the life of one woman whose true name is never given. She is referred to only as "Offred," as a possessive form of Fred, a military commander who is basically her owner. Several hundred years in the future a nation called Gilead has come to power in the east coast of the United States. Those who run Gilead are never seen, but it seems that they are Christian literalists who use scripture and bastardized lessons of the bible to control the citizens. As expected the society is heavily ritualized even though things like reading and writing have been practically eliminated. The primary means of control include sexual conditioning and indoctrination. Young women have all been rounded up and put into centers called "Rachel and Leah" centers where they were indoctrinated into their new lives as handmaids. Take a look at Genesis 30:1-3 for an idea about the beginnings of this story...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..

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