Archive for August, 2013

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

August 5, 2013


I began Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on a whim. I found myself with nothing to read and no time to upload a new book to my kindle before a transatlantic flight took off. My husband had intended to read the book, hence why it happened to already be on my kindle.

The story is a bit heavy-handed. The US government has been overthrown by a group of Christian extremists, who have set up a society allegedly built on strict biblical principles. The story is told from the point of view of one of the “handmaids,” a class of women who offer reproductive services in childless households. The book explores questions of social status, gender, religion, and human nature, but I didn’t find any particular insights in the work. All in all, I wasn’t particularly impressed.

I won’t spoil it, but the most interesting part is probably the ending, which was rather brief and begged the question of why more time wasn’t devoted to this larger framework.