Whether or not you look favourably on film or TV adaptations, there is something to be said for them, they are often the kick up the arse I need to actually pick up that book I’ve been meaning to read for so many years.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
I must confess that actually, when it comes to reading, I can be a bit of a snob and often, quite prejudiced. My limited experience of anything science fiction or dystopian has tainted my preconceptions and I often shy away from modern classics and must-reads simply because I once decided that it wasn’t for me. I aspire to rise above such prejudices and in the meantime, I am happy to have new waves of popular culture to persuade me otherwise.
I lingered over this book for some time, although I’m not quite sure how as every time I picked up A Handmaid’s Tale, I seemed to rattle through it. Terrifying at times in its foresight and thought-provoking in its portrayal of womanhood. In 2017 it is still not uncommon for society to see and talk about women purely as mothers, the descent from that to mere wombs is hardly extreme. Now in our late twenties, my female friends are often instructed by GPs to abandon birth control before our eggs dry up. Good intentioned or otherwise, this advice is often uninvited and at times downright unwelcome. The assumption that a woman will and must become a mother seems so archaic in this day and age, until you happen to be one sitting opposite a doctor.
Last month I shuddered at the echos of Nazi propaganda which I recognised in modern day press, this month Margaret Atwood sent chills down my spine with the callousness of an imagined regime, which in this day and age, is not entirely unimaginable.
I am glad I read The Handmaid’s Tale. I concede it really is essential reading thought it might not convince me of science fiction. I did enjoy it… if you are meant to enjoy such things.
“Better never means better for everyone. It always means worse, for some.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale