Thoughts on Handmaid’s Tale

This is going to show everyone how pathetically behind on writing posts I am. This post was originally drafted in 2017…. in April. Pathetic. But I’ve also read this book multiple times, had many discussions about it and watched season one. It’s ingrained in my brain.

Way back in early 2017 I reread The Handmaid’s Tale as a part of the #handmaidreadalong on Twitter hosted by the wonderful Kaeley at Spoilers May Apply. We talked about the terrifying aspects, how we read it in the current world and how the change in leadership came about.

*There may be SPOILERS past this point*

I first read this book in one of my English classes and even then it was horrifying to read. And that was way back in 2011. I had read a lot of dystopians but this one has always seemed the most realistic of all. Some of the changes in this society came about so suddenly they knew something was wrong, like the women all being fired. Others were subtle changes like….

  • Reading was slowly taken away even signs were changed to accommodate this. Books and magazines disappeared.
  • Luxuries started being banned, such as lotion- the handmaids came up with solutions, such as butter for lotion.
  • Women’s bank cards no longer worked causing them to have to rely on their husbands.

Another thing was that no one knew who was in charge. The government fell and no one knew who took over. This gives everyone a feeling of uncertainty because there isn’t an enemy. There is no one to oppose so people just accepted things as they came. There wasn’t a vote on any of the changes going through. They were powerless puppets.

They were told everything was only going to be temporary. They all believed things were going to go back to normal so again, no one did anything about it. They believed this until they were too deep into the new system.

Part of the reason I love this particular dystopian is that it covers the transitional generation. They still had those memories of what the past had been like. They can remember being in love and having children with who they wanted and jobs and a stable government.

With the new regime people were being punished for jobs they had before ROG took over. No one was safe. As beliefs changed and different laws came into place they retroactively punished people. The example that sticks out most in my mind is that the doctors who performed abortions were hanged.

The Handmaid’s Take sequel

I’m sure everyone has heard about the sequel by now. But if not Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel titled The Testaments. I have hopes for this book. I think it could be very well done but I’m also worried that Atwood will draw too much from the current happenings in the United States.

We all know that she took from other countries and other happenings when writing the first one and I don’t want her to rely too much on that now. She has a world that is created and good building blocks and I would love to see her expand on that. However, we shall see.

What do you think about The Handmaid’s Tale? What about the sequel announcement?

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Handmaid’s Tale

  1. I need to do a reread of this soon. I enjoyed the book and I really enjoy the show on Hulu. I agree that the sequel can go one of two ways but I really am hoping for the best. I think there is so much that she could do with this next book that has mirrors of our society but keeps it is own. I think the parallels and fact that some of the things Atwood wrote about are coming to fruition make it a scary read.

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  2. I’m going into it optimistic. I loved the first one so I’m hoping the second is just as good. She can expand upon it so much and I think that’s also part of what makes it terrifying. There aren’t really boundaries to the world she’s written.

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