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.

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12 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale

  1. I thought the way you wrote your essay was really unique and using the idea of you questions to write was kind of cool. I liked the questions that you asked because I had some of the same ones. I thought it was also useful how you explained some of your thought process and used the book to back it up. I really liked how you ended your essay with a note to your readers encouraging them to read the book.

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  2. Julie this is really good, your opening paragraph had me hooked, your choice of words described the message clear and in depth without saying too much or too little. I like how you explained what the book was about and questions that you had but answered for others. I also like how you ended with a way that influenced others to read the book with questions to look forward to within the book to answer while reading.

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  3. Your essay was really worded nicely, it seemed so formal and professional and how you typed out your thoughts and understanding of the book made me really interested in reading your essay. The description of offred and eye were well write, I especially liked how you would include questions in these mini descriptions and then later on answered them, it was a nice touch.

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  4. I liked the way you described the main character, talking about how you never get to know who she really is and what ends up happening, and that made me interested and wanting to read the book. When you said “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?” it made me think of my book because The Circle is an organization who tries to take over thousands of people (but not the world). I thought your essay was really clean and easy to understand, too.

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  5. I really liked that there were a lot of questions posed in your essay, it really pushed me to think and also really makes me want to read the book myself. I also liked how you continued to bring up issues of feminism even though it wasn’t the main focus of the essay.

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  6. I enjoyed reading your essay because it was structured differently then the others I was reading. I like how you had questioned then answered them with your opinion which was different. I as well enjoyed the opening paragraph because it was well written.

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  7. This piece has come a long way since I first looked at it, nice work! I have not read the book, though now your numerous questions have me wanting to so. The questions in your second paragraph, especially those like “What becomes of her daughter and husband? What eventually becomes of her?” have made me curious myself. I’ll add this book to my list!

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  8. julie, i really like how youve wrote this essay, like when youve finished reading the book you can ask these questions to yourself and try to better understand the book, like you have

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  9. In your essay I found that the topics you focused on are very real and that it wouldn’t take much for something to knock us off the ladder we’ve climbed as the human race and especially was women in the world. You say “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.” And I think that statement alone should spark warning.

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  10. I love the way you introduced your essay. The introduction was well written and understandable. I also love the way you sectioned your essay into a question and the further explanation of the question. It really made me understand about the book. I finally liked the way you explained your confusion of the book, “But who are they really? Who leads the Eye? How many people are a part of the organization?”

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  11. I like how you showed how the text carries the theme of just being a women for no purpose other than reproduction”Offered in terms of a person is meant to be that unidentifiable women that could be any of us.”. I also enjoyed how you left your questions spaced out to show they carried a lot of weight and depth even though few words were said.

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  12. I really like the way you organized your essay and how you added a lot of questions because I wondered a lot of the same things even after I was reading the book. The last couple of sentences were a great way to wrap everything up, great job!

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