The Handmaid's Tale
A woman describes her life in the Republic of Gilead, a dystopian society where an authoritarian Christian extremist regime has transformed the United States into a nation that operates by a caste system. Offred, named after her master ("Of Fred"), is classified as a handmaid and is therefore subjugated to sexual servitude to help curb infertility. Each month during the time of her ovulation, Offred must have ceremonious sex with her assigned commander (while his cold-hearted wife is required to be present ) in hopes that she may conceive of a child that would belong to the couple. Though women are forbidden to read and write, Offred uses this narrative to reflect upon her current life and directly compare it to the time before, when she was still a working woman, a loving wife and a devoted mother. It was a time, when she was still independent and free.
We are living in an era that has enabled an openly misogynist man to become president. Backed in part by alt-right religious fanatics, Trump’s administration actively works on dismantling protections for minority groups, including women. Reading Margaret Atwood’s 1986 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” against this backdrop strikes a particularly sensitive chord with me. Her story is set in a world that represents my worst fears, a world where I’m no longer allowed to follow my passions such as reading, writing and filmmaking, and where I have been forced to relinquish autonomy over my own body. Continue Reading “The Handmaid’s Tale – MARGARET ATWOOD”