Monday, June 27, 2022

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

This was a tale that takes place in the country of Gilead, though that wasn't what it had always been called. The country had started out as a democracy, but over time many in power had turned to extreme religion, turning the country into a theocracy where women had no rights, their possessions were taken from them and turned over to male relatives, they were no longer allowed to hold any job outside the home, and many other changes began to take place as well.  It started out as a slow decline that many didn’t see coming in the beginning, but soon spiraled out of control as the religious extremists took control.

In the end, women who were capable of bearing children were forced to become surrogates & bear children for those who could not get pregnant to raise as their own. Little choice was given to these women, and the other options should they continue to refuse were far worse.

I decided to read this book because of the many parallels between this fictional story and much of what is happening in the real world today. It is a story that seems as if it should be impossible, but there are many women who have just been stripped of some of their rights by those in power, and there is a clear path from that to many other rights being stripped away as well in the name of religion. For a fictional story, the parallels between what happened in this book and the world today are uncomfortably real and painfully clear.

I believe that this is a book that should be read at least once in your life, especially now, though I'm sure many will not agree. Beyond that, I will only say that I found this to be a very powerful cautionary tale of what can potentially happen even in a world where so many are still fighting to hold on their rights and to improve their lives and the lives of others. It may be a fictional tale, but I could see it could very easily become reality under the right circumstances.

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