Blog Post Book Reviews

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – “A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.”

Controlling women's bodies in The Handmaid's tale.

Reading The Handmaid’s Tale only confirmed our belief that we live in a rape culture-driven society, and men in power know it.

“I feel like the word shatter.”

Margaret Atwood

Believe it or not, we live in a crumbling down society in matters of economic, political, social, and environmental issues. We know you have noticed this when you go to the supermarket, and inflation has increased the price of all your favorite products. You know when there is a shortage of products in stores. You notice this in rent, the power fill, the mortgage interest, but mainly, when a group of white cisgender males, who the population insists on putting in power, decide to step back regarding human rights, especially women and LGBTQ+ rights.

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Readers globally could consider that Margaret Atwood saw the future and wrote it down in this title. However, we believe that what she did was to understand humanity’s past and the horrific fact that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. A premonition of the future or just a highlight of the past makes The Handmaid’s Tale uncanny. How close are we to becoming that society where women’s reproductive health is held hostage by men’s power, greed, and religion? When will religion poison the government and politics? At this point in this reaction to The Handmaid’s Tale, you understand that we have already reached that place. How conservative Christians and extremist religious groups are taking control of countries, governments, and politics to send us back to the 1800s when women could not hold property, have a political voice, or have a decision over their own life, future, or body.

How close are we to this dystopian society where women and LGBTQ+ people are objects of possession? Archaic rhetoric like Andrew Tate’s and other male podcasters, who Drew Afualo has taken at heart to confront, confirms that people are faithful believers of a system where women are objects of male possession, and LGBTQ+ people deserve the hashers and deathliest punishments. In her novel, Margaret Atwood denounces the double moral of the society we live in by reflecting its vibes in The Republic of Gilead. They force women to have children. They silence women with constant threats of death. They rape women for status. There are rules that people must obey, but if you are a white cisgender male in power, those rules do not apply. There isn’t religion, politics, or moral ground a white male in power won’t defy or break in exchange for their benefit.

Powerful enough, Atwood gives her readers many forms to use in her novel to accomplish social change and denounce the system’s injustices. Many phrases resonated with us and made us wonder what we are doing to stop the wrong people from getting into power. Atwood showed us how inaction and passivity lead to a whole government takeover and how getting comfortable with one’s freedom gives the green light to people to take over and revert any progress. “Better never means better for everyone… it always means worse for some,” this quote is fundamental for everybody to understand that whatever you try to force people to do for the “better” is already a sign of control and power. A company increasing the prices of their products would be better for their finances, but it will be worst for the consumers. A religious group forcing people to give birth to children would be better for them and their religious ideas, but it would be worst for those who cannot afford or support a child.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a story of control and power over the population. A story of people in control forcing others to act and comply with rules imposed by those in power. The power of choice drives conflict, but mainly when you try to take it away.


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