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The Handmaid's Tale: Exalting Fertility Not Feminism

[Spoiler alert - no major plot twists revealed but I quote from the book. I haven’t seen the show] My wife cautioned me when I picked it up. “It’s really feminist.” She told me a couple times. I hadn’t read a Margaret Atwood book yet but heard she was an amazing writer and the TV show was getting press. 
The Handmaid’s Tale is a great novel. It accomplishes exactly what dystopian fiction is meant to do - to imagine contemporary culture, twisted in one particular way so that its corresponding ripple effect reverberates throughout every aspect of society. The prose is brilliant, the images evocative, but most of all, it’s haunting. There’s a sense of dread that accompanies the main character, Offred, throughout the story. The narrative is told solely from Offred’s perspective, as if you’re reading her diary. There are moments when the storm clouds of dread momentarily clear and rays of light peek through. The tension keeps ratcheting up, with brief episodes of dissipation. Almost everyt…

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