Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...
My third, and final, book for Banned Books Week on the blog.
Why was it banned?
Unsurprisingly, due to the content and nature of this novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is a frequent presence on banned books lists the world over due to its allegedly anti-Christian themes. Another popular reason, usually cited right along with the criticism of religion, is that the book is considered to be pornographic.
Why did you choose it?
Goodreads browsing, yo. I kept seeing it on must read lists for feminist and dystopian fiction so you know, I had to read it. Because of reasons.
The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of Offred, one of many women living the lives of ‘handmaids’ in the not so distant future. Because of incidents in the past, such as abortion versus pro-life movements and high divorce rates, coupled with a rising fear that the human race would wipe itself out of existence by allowing women the choice to not continue with a pregnancy, religious fervour took over and gradually built up a new system of life in one country. In this ‘new world order’, the word of God is considered to be the highest law there is.