The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

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The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its world, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm façade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best"--Jacket.
ISBN: 9780385490818
038549081X
9780525435006
9781328879943
1328879941
Branch Call Number: FICTION Atwood 1986
813.54 A887h
F ATW
F ATWOOD

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From Library Staff

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray for the Commander to make her pregnant, for in a time of ... Read More »

A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander ... Read More »


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k
kruttikas
Jun 20, 2019

For the first time in years, I felt that feeling of not being able to put the book down. An absolutely eye-opening dystopian work, that features a beautiful style of writing that almost mirrors our style of thinking. A must-read!

s
shrewe
Jun 13, 2019

This dystopian book is Atwood's masterpiece. It could happen here; we already have all of the technology necessary. And more than enough misogyny embedded in our culture. Anything can be justified in the name of religion...read the news.

d
dionyzus
Jun 05, 2019

A gripping and scary satire on the logical end result of a totalitarian takeover of the United States by patriarchs who feel entitled to have complete control over women. The parallels to current news are striking, where right wing Supreme Court justices are poised to turn back the clock on women's rights, by reimposing control over women's right to choose. I'm sure this book (which is less than 300 pages) is concise compared to the Hulu series, so to newbies I recommend the book first.

t
tjdickey
Apr 06, 2019

We don't, of course, read dystopian fiction for comfort, but to speak to us about how *not* to shape society, and Atwood delivers in spades with the extreme and violent consequences of racisim and gender stereotypes. At the same time, amidst the terror and abject, lonely dehumanization of a woman's daily life as only a reproductive vessel, Atwood writes with stunning grace and narrative power, and offers even fleeting glimpses of persistent humanity.

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 05, 2019

Good book, just gets so bogged down in the mundane details

x
xp
Feb 02, 2019

hi

m
Memawrayne
Oct 30, 2018

Read it after watching season 1. Very thought provoking as it makes the reader think about how important individual freedoms and rights are and that we need to respect differences.

l
leanneb112
Oct 21, 2018

I liked how the book took place soon after a transition into the new regime that was in place throughout the novel. The main character’s flashbacks allow you to see how things gradually changes until it became something they all thought they were never allow. It really makes you think about what’s going on today.

b
begue88
Oct 05, 2018

I enjoyed the premise of the story, although the author's writing-style did not resonate with me well. She bounces around a lot (between past, present, and the main character's fantasies) without any warning---sometimes mid-paragraph. The author spends most of the book delving into the main character's thoughts and not very much time creating a picture of the new world order. You only get a vague understanding of what is going on in the world and why and how it happened, and I would have liked to know more. The historical notes at the end of the book do shed some light on the events of the time "Gileadean" time period from the perspective of future historians, so I recommend reading that section.

d
DuchessA2017
Sep 29, 2018

Not sure what all the hoopla is about. It's about 50 pages too long, but otherwise an easy read for the beach or long weekend.

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Quotes

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r
reeread
Oct 01, 2018

“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.”

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

As long as we do this, butter our skin to keep it soft, we can believe that we will some day get out,
that we will be touched again, in love or desire. We have ceremonies of our own, private ones.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

There can be alliances even in such places, even under such circumstances. This is something you can depend upon: there will always be alliances of one kind of another.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

It is the hardest for you. We know the sacrifices you are being expected to make. It is hard when men revile you. For the ones who come after you, it will be easier. They will accept their duties with willing hearts. She did not say: Because they will have no memories, of any other way. She said: Because they won't want things they can't have.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

What he's telling us, his level smile implies, is for our own good. Everything will be all right soon.
I promise. There will be peace. You must trust. You must go to sleep, like good children.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.

PimaLib_JB Oct 28, 2014

“There is more than one kind of freedom," said Aunt Lydia. "Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.”

PimaLib_JB Oct 28, 2014

“There is more than one kind of freedom," said Aunt Lydia. "Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.”

m
MissSherbetXO
Jul 11, 2014

I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.

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Age

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s
steven_hahn
Jun 01, 2018

steven_hahn thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

b
blue_cat_16312
May 18, 2018

blue_cat_16312 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

j
jjwoodard
Jun 01, 2017

jjwoodard thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

c
csrestall
Jun 01, 2017

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

e
eparti
Mar 29, 2015

eparti thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

EuSei Jan 25, 2013

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

s
Saralovebaig
Nov 28, 2012

Saralovebaig thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

h
hardkorelish
Apr 16, 2011

hardkorelish thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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c
csrestall
Jun 01, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Hangings and group lynching

c
csrestall
Jun 01, 2017

Sexual Content: Explicit sexual scenes

c
csrestall
Jun 01, 2017

Violence: group mob attack section

Summary

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c
csrestall
Jun 01, 2017

Offred lives in a society where women are valued purely for their ability to reproduce because of rampant bareness caused by radioactive materials. Offred is one of the handmaids who are forced to procreate under the direct supervision of their commanding 'wives'. Offred had a family and a child of her own which were taken from her when she was forced to become property. All aspects of her life are controlled on pain of death. Things start to spiral downward when her Commander (baby daddy) starts speaking to her outside of the prearranged time he promises her glimpses of her old life. She is also forced into a sexual encounter with one of the servant men after her commanding wife feels the commander is incapable of getting her pregnant. She continues on this relationship even though she is afraid of being found out. The book ends rather abruptly when Offred is taken away in a van which is known to dispose of rebellious handmaids. It is implied that her lover helps her escape although it is ambiguous.

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