The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that will change you. You won’t be the same person once you’ve finished the book. After rereading it, you’ll be changed even more. I recommend this book to everyone because of its real world implications. But what truly makes this book amazing, is the fact that it was originally published in 1985 and is still relevant today and will continue to be relevant in the future.
“My name isn’t Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it’s forbidden. I tell myself it doesn’t matter, your name is like your telephone number, useful only to others; but what I tell myself is wrong, it does matter.”
The Handmaid’s Tale follows Offred, a woman living in a totalitarian Christian theocracy where they’ve deemed that a woman’s value is based solely on their reproductive abilities. Offred is a handmaiden given to the commander in order to produce a child for him. She is given specific duties, clothing, and is limited in her activities. Her sole purpose is to become pregnant, give birth, and then be given away to the next commander to repeat the process.
The Handmaid’s Tale, as I mentioned previously, will change you. Its themes of subjugation, sexual violence, religion, language, complacency, ownership, agency (among others) are especially relevant with recent sexual violence and women’s bodies issues gaining more and more attention in mainstream media.
I could go on and on and on about how amazing The Handmaid’s Tale is and relentlessly explain the reasons why it’s so amazing, but I won’t. I won’t do this simply because it’s a book that you need to analyze yourself and discover what it means to you. As with any piece of art, each individual’s interpretation of it will be difference because of our past experiences, worldviews, and where we are at that moment are all different. So, read The Handmaid’s Tale and enjoy it for what it is: a beautifully crafted novel that will change how you view the world and everyone in it.
“You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: This sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter.”