THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood (hier online bestellen)
The narrator is a fertile woman living in the late twentieth century in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A
religious group called the Sons of Jacob has recently overthrown the United States government. Our narrator
has been arrested for being married to a divorced man, which is heretical. She and her husband, Luke, were
arrested while trying to escape the country on fake passports. Their daughter was taken away from them, and
given to an elite, childless family. Our narrator was sent to the Rachael and Leah Re-Education Center,
which is known as the Red Center, to be trained for her new role in The Republic of Gilead. All Handmaids
are trained at the Red Center, where they are brainwashed into submission to their new role by a group of
women called Aunts. A Handmaid's role is to bear children for elite, childless families of The Republic.
They must be pure, which means they cannot read or write or associate with other men or have desires of
any kind. Their names are taken from them and they are tattooed with a number. They are taught to believe
that the previous ills of society were their fault and that men are blameless. Our narrator is given the
name Offred when she arrives at the home of her Commander, Fred. She spends much of her time waiting in
her designated room. She wears the outfit of a Handmaid, which is modest and entirely red except for a
white, winged bonnet. She discovers a message from the previous Handmaid carved into her closet, "Don't
let the bastards grind you down." Offred avoids the Commander's Wife because she resents Offred's presence
in her house. She sometimes talks with the Marthas in the house. Marthas are women whose role is to do
About the author:
Margaret Atwood was born on the eighteenth of November, 1939, the daughter of a forest entomologist. She
traveled for much of her childhood between the wilderness of Northern Ontario and the capital, Ottowa.
Atwood went to high school in Toronto, majoring in home economics, but at the age of sixteen determined
to become a writer. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and her graduate
degree from Radcliffe College. In 1966, Atwood's first published collection of poetry, The Circle Game,
gained critical praise, and in 1969 her first novel was published, The Edible Woman. It was made into a
film soon after. Atwood was one of the most sudden literary successes in Canadian history.
In 1986, The Handmaid's Tale was published and became a bestseller. It was written during the anti-feminist
backlash of the 1980s in which feminists were criticized for breaking up the traditional home.
The book is composed of two parts: the Handmaid Offred's diary and the Historical Notes, which provide
more historical context for the Tale and another fictional perspective of Offred's society. Atwood wrote
The Handmaid's Tale in an attempt to illustrate the logical extension of anti-feminists statements such
as "it is every man's right to rule supreme at home" and "a woman's place is in the home." The Handmaid's
Tale is often described as a feminist dystopia (negative utopia) because it is set within an imperfect
society of the future, and addresses the misogyny of patriarchal culture. Other influences on the book
acknowledged by Atwood include her studies of the American Puritans and the Iranian monotheocracy of the
1970s and 1980s.
Throughout her career Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. She is the author
of over 23 books fiction and nonfiction. Her work is published in more than 25 countries. Atwood currently
lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson and their daughter.
1. ...."girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in mini skirts, then pants, then one earring, spiky green-streaked hair." ..
2. ..."There is more than one kind of freedom...Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."..
3. ..."She doesn't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn't seem to agree with her. How furious she must be now that she has been taken at her word."..
THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood
Broschiert: 304 Seiten
Verlag: Seal Books (1998)
Preis: € 9,90
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