Women are objects. Nothing more than a vessel to bear a man’s child. This is what the book The Handmaid’s Tale portrays could happen to America if the citizens continue to act freely.
Written by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale first became a popular book during the late 1980’s. However, since the television streaming app HULU created the original series, the book has seen renewed popularity among adults and teens.
The Handmaid’s Tale is written in perspective of a woman who experienced what it was like for her rights to be stripped away. In Atwood’s world, most women have grown infertile. After a fringe religious group overthrows the US government, they create a new world order in which all fertile women are assigned to households of wealthy commanders in order to bear children for them and their infertile wives.
Handmaids live a fragile, tortured existence. The women in the book are not allowed to walk alone or even pick what they eat for lunch. If they are unable to bear a child after living with three different commanders, they become “unwomen” and are either killed or sent to hard labor camps called “the colonies.”
Due to the depiction of intense, sometimes violent occurrences, this novel may not be suitable for all ages. However, it is important that people of all allowable ages read this and understand how far women as a whole have come in the world.
The beautifully written novel expressed women empowerment through an unexpected way, by showing them with no rights at all. Teens who read June’s story will be brought to the reality of how women have been treated in the past and how quickly we as a society could fall back into the same patterns.
“I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There’s a
lot that doesn’t bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last,” Atwood writes in a world as if the right to the First Amendment is a blessing rather than something we deserve.
Margaret Atwood explains how smaller changes to women’s lives at the bottom of society swiftly lead to the greater conversion, in a way that was both fascinating and scarily realistic.
The Handmaid’s Tale displays examples of women and self empowerment by giving the reader a lead female character, who is a handmaid, and putting her in inhumane situations, while showing her as a strong-willed, persevering character.
If you are interested in feminists and the work they do in society, this novel is the good read. However, I believe this book is a must-read for both men and women. The knowledge The Handmaid’s Tale gives us about what our actions could lead to will better prepare us from letting history repeat itself.
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