The Handmaid’s Tale

There is no denying the fact that women at one point in time had no form of rights that were meant to benefit anything that they did. Even today in places around the world women don’t have rights but I hope nothing to the extent of that of Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Women are merely objects made for the advancement of the world and what once was a slightly prosperous United States has now become reversed in its ideals and way of life. Though today what I am here to do is not analyze the book in its inner working but to instead do one of two things; detail the questions I still have left and document the relation of this book to today’s world. As you continue you will find my ideals and my questions and how they relate to “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

 

Who is Offred?

She is the main character of the story who you never truly understand all the way to the last page. Offred is someone who I’ve imagined and thought of hundreds of thousands of times and in different ways every time. Most books give you this image of a character through details but the craftsmanship that Margaret Atwood used in order to create this book leaves you wondering. You know Offred is a women used once a month by the Commander but who is she really? What does she want to be one day? What is her real name? What becomes of her daughter and husband? What eventually becomes of her? Where does she end up? Does she become happy or not anything close to happy?

 

Offered in terms of a person is meant to be that unidentifiable women that could be any of us. However in the form of an object Offred is the objectifying quality in all of us. She is the being that makes others feel they have rights over our bodies. She is the symbol of what could become of us if we continued to allow those in power to control us. Offred is all of us and what we could become. Whether or not we truly suspect it the world could just as easily end up in the type of disarray that Margaret presents in her book.

 

Who is the Eye?

The Eye is an organization presented in The Handmaid’s Tale whose purpose is to keep the strict order of the world. But who are they really? Who leads the Eye? How many people are a part of the organization? The little that I do know about the Eye is they are never afraid to remove you when you’ve been doing things that were not meant for you.

 

The Eye is almost a modern day Big Brother. The notion that the government watches us and takes those of us who do things that are not seen as fit or removes information that they feel is dangerous in the hands of the people is not a new concept. This all seeing power who know what you’re up to at all times is exactly the twist Margaret needed in order to make and effortless tie back to our modern day societal conspiracies.

 

What is the lesson this book is trying to teach?

The Handmaid’s Tale is a gritty novel meant to grab you and make you question today’s world and what you believe. There is absolutely no denying that the book accomplished what it set out to do but there were always a few things about the book itself that affected the way that I look at it. The Handmaid’s Tale never truly completes itself. The main character goes off on her own journey into finding out why her world is like the way it is but you never know what becomes of her, her family, her acquaintances, or even the people who changed society. You’re left wondering what becomes of them? At the end of the day though I believe the author did that on purpose to channel our attention into making our own end to answer these two questions. How does today’s world reflect this book and how possible would it be for it to actually occur?

 

Now I challenge those of you who will read this read this book one day. You don’t have to read it now you don’t have to even read it in 20 years but a few things to think about if you do:

How does this book reflect your life today?

What was the true cause of the United States’ collapse?

Why do you think the author wrote it the way she did?

In what modern day state do you believe the book takes place?

Finally what happens to the world following this time period?

 

Wait as long as you need to think, as long as you wish, but don’t wait too long, for the power to decide could be ripped away from you by the power structure of our modern day hate driven world.