The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian state. The Republic has resorted to assigning fertile women, to the society’s prominent figures to ensure its survival after the plummeting birth rates. The reader is exposed to the harsh reality of the community through the narration of Offred, a handmaid who serves the Commander and his wife Serena Joy, in their attempt to produce a child. As she desperately clings to her previous identity, Offred discovers that her body is her only chance of surviving a regime wrought with corruption and deceit at every level. While Atwood’s style is easy reading, she doesn’t shy away from some graphic descriptions, which emphasise the oppression within the dystopian society. This is certainly not an emotionally uplifting read, yet Atwood’s tale will leave you contemplating whether aspects of Gilead already exist in our modern society?
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