Margaret Atwood Handmaid Tale Essay

Margaret Atwood Handmaid Tale Essay-52
In a feminist dystopia pure and simple, all of the men would have greater rights than all of the women.It would be two-layered in structure: top layer men, bottom layer women.Perhaps that was because I thought I knew where it was going, and felt no need to interrogate myself.

In a feminist dystopia pure and simple, all of the men would have greater rights than all of the women.It would be two-layered in structure: top layer men, bottom layer women.Perhaps that was because I thought I knew where it was going, and felt no need to interrogate myself.

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I see that I left Berlin in June of 1984, returned to Canada, spent a month on Galiano Island in British Columbia, wrote through the fall, then spent four months in early 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I held an MFA Chair.

I finished the book there; the first person to read it was fellow writer Valerie Martin, who was also there at that time.

I chronicle the finding of puffballs, always a source of glee; dinner parties, with lists of those who attended and what was cooked; illnesses, my own and those of others; and the deaths of friends. There are page counts; I had a habit of writing down the pages completed as a way of urging myself on.

But there are no reflections at all about the actual composition or subject matter of the book itself.

I recall her saying, “I think you’ve got something here.” She herself remembers more enthusiasm.

From September 12, 1984 to June 1985 all is blank in my journal—there is nothing at all set down, not even a puffball—though by my page-count entries it seems I was writing at white-hot speed.

The deep foundation of the United States—so went my thinking—was not the comparatively recent 18th-century Enlightenment structures of the Republic, with their talk of equality and their separation of Church and State, but the heavy-handed theocracy of 17th-century Puritan New England—with its marked bias against women—which would need only the opportunity of a period of social chaos to reassert itself.

Like the original theocracy, this one would select a few passages from the Bible to justify its actions, and it would lean heavily towards the Old Testament, not towards the New.

The group-activated hangings, the tearing apart of human beings, the clothing specific to castes and classes, the forced childbearing and the appropriation of the results, the children stolen by regimes and placed for upbringing with high-ranking officials, the forbidding of literacy, the denial of property rights—all had precedents, and many of these were to be found, not in other cultures and religions, but within Western society, and within the “Christian” tradition itself.

(I enclose “Christian” in quotation marks, since I believe that much of the Church’s behavior and doctrine during its two-millennia-long existence as a social and political organization would have been abhorrent to the person after whom it is named.) has often been called a “feminist dystopia,” but that term is not strictly accurate.

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