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The Handmaid's Tale (book club: December)

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
So, Scary Monster nominated and it was an excellent choice.

I thought the whole concept was very cleverly executed. Like all good science fiction / alternate universe literature, there was no protracted explanation of the setup, it just flowed naturally and the way she withheld some aspects of the culture to reveal them at their most shocking was incredibly affective.

I was very taken with the character of Offred - as, I'm sure, the reader is meant to be - and found myself getting increasingly angry as the book went on. I was frustrated beyond all belief with the ending - although I enjoyed the epilogue. It was an uncomfortable way to end the book, but the most appropriate.

I was left with one question that might be a good starting-point for discussion, which is this:

Was this totalitarian regime so harsh because of its religious origins, or does totalitarianism just draw strength from whatever it has at its disposal?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think if you want a controlling society you can build it on almost anything. Nazism was nationality and racial purity, britain in V for Vendetta was similar, stalinist communism, maoist communism... whatever. The religious thing was enjoyable for me, because I picked up the references from the bible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    The religious thing was enjoyable for me, because I picked up the references from the bible.

    I just wonder how much I missed... :chin:

    I didn't get that Marthas were named after this Martha, although I knew about Gilead.

    Why do you think the blinkers on the handmaids' hats were shaped like wings?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because angels made mary and other women in the bible pregnant? Like abrahams wife and etc or something
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