Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale is a famous dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood. The story takes place in the Republic of Gilead, which is a totalitarian theocratic society that was formerly the United States. In this society, there is a large number of females that are sterile, and as a result there is a group of fertile women whose sole role is to reproduce. These women are the Handmaids.

The narrator of the book is herself a Handmaid, and through her accounts, we learn about the lives of Handmaids, which are quite dull and uneventful. We also learn about the other roles in the society, such as the Commanders, the Wives, the Aunts, and the Eyes. Furthermore, through the narration, we learn about the values and beliefs of the society, as well as what the society considers to be unlawful. In short, by reading about the narrator's life, we get to know how her society functions.

Unfortunately, I didn't particularly like this book. It wasn't bad, but it was a bit boring. To me the whole book was unexciting, and it just wasn't suspenseful. So I only finished this book because I was looking forward to some kind of surprise.

Also, for some reason, I just couldn't feel for the main character. I found her to be rather passive and detached, and many of her problems were those that I could not possibly face during my lifetime (for I am a male). In short, I simply didn't feel connected to the story or the characters, and as a result the book didn't leave a big impression on me.