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Old 1st Jul 2008, 13:29   #17
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Join Date: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Book 54: THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood

Originally Posted by Colyngbourne View Post
Where were the people arguing for freedom, for joy? There are plenty of Biblical quotes that could counter the dogma of the regime, that no thinking person seems to have tried out (in the account we're given anyway).
I think this gets to the heart of my fondness for the novel in that June does argue for freedom and joy. She creates her own, as you said above, through relationship and even (hallelujah chorus refrain here) the occasional game of Scrabble. Plus all of the word games she plays when she's alone, and her continuous attempts to understand and process what is going on around her. In my thinking, this is feminism, the search for personal power as opposed to giving up.

Found an interview with Atwood at the back of the Anchor Book edition.

Q: What are we to learn from The Handmaid's Tale?
Atwood: This is a book about what happens when certain casually held attitudes about women are taken to their logical conclusions. For example, I explore a number of conservative opinions still held by many -- such as a woman's place is in the home. And also certain feminist pronouncements --women prefer the company of other women, for example. Take these beliefs to their logical ends and see what happens. As a writer, you can choose to create a mainstream novel in which these issues appear only as the characters discuss them sitting around the kitchen table. But I decided to take these positions and dramatize them, carry them to their furthest logical conclusions.
Did this help me? Nope.
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