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Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid's…
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Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid's Tale (Bloom's Guides)

by Harold Bloom

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This shit freaks me out . . . This story touches on a not so unlikely scenario of a theolistic society. Believe me, you will hate all men for about a month after you finish reading this book. Not that it's all fem-nazi ideology but it confronts the female body in that it is only used for man's purpose to spread the seed. It definitely keeps you on your toes. ( )
  HezPez | Jul 14, 2011 |
For the first two-thirds of this book, I was pretty sure I was going to give it a three, which is what I rated the other Atwood books I had read in the past. I really love the stories she has to tell, but I don't like the way she tells them. She opens everyone of her books in an unknown place that makes you ask yourself a billion questions about what's going on. Then she very slowly reveals the answers, little by little, throughout the 300 pages or so of the book. It is so frustrating! I hate feeling lost and confused when I'm reading. It sucks the fun out of it.

Luckily, most of the more pressing questions I had about Gilead in this book were answered in the first half and I was able to really enjoy the last 100 pages or so, of which I would give 5 stars. I love how she ended it with The Historical Notes. I thought that was so creative and it made me think over the entire story of The Handmaid's Tale in a whole other way. I actually felt more connected to the narrator, which I didn't feel so much while I was actually reading her story. I don't know why I couldn't feel much for her in the beginning. Maybe I distanced myself in preparation for the horror story I knew was coming when I opened to the first page.

What made me really mad was how easy Atwood had this society come into creation. You take out the President and you take out the Congress and bing bang boom, you have a nation now ruled by a fanatic religious group and a society of oppressed women. What really ticked me off was that there was hardly a struggle among the citizens to prevent this from happening! At first, I thought that Atwood had cheated the story by writing it this way, but after some reflection I realized how plausible it all was. People can be shamefully apathetic, especially during times when we most need to stand up and fight. ( )
  Kayla-Marie | Apr 6, 2011 |
Lovely, heart-wrenching, futuristic fiction. By exaggerating and extending the traditional values and stigmas attached to the roles of women, Atwood creates an image of the future with far-reaching implications for our present. ( )
  jazzibear | Jan 4, 2011 |
The world is a different place now. An event has caused the complete destruction of society as it was once known. Women are separated into classes based on their “usefulness” to society as a whole: if they can produce babies, they are handmaids, if they can’t, they are “unwomen.” The handmaids are assigned to men whose wives are unable to have children; handmaids are only there for the purpose of trying to get pregnant for their Commanders. Offred has been assigned a Commander, but she can still remember what her life was like before. She had a husband and a little girl, and a name. She was allowed to read and go out of the house when she wanted and use hand lotion. Now she is simply a servant to the Commander and his wife. She must learn to play by their rules in order to survive. Men and women are killed almost daily and hanged on The Wall as a warning; Offred often walks past The Wall on her daily outings to the market with her companion to see who has newly fallen. Though they try, no one can brainwash Offred into forgetting her past and wishing desperately to find out what happened to her daughter. A futuristic tale with an all too-familiar feeling, The Handmaid’s Tale makes the reader think about the direction society is taking and the power groups of people have over others to control lives. ( )
  litgirl29 | Aug 5, 2010 |
A quick read with unremarkable characters. Don't get me wrong. The writing is fantastic! A month later, I only remember the character's names. Despite my memory deficiency, I would read this again and recommend it to a friend. ( )
  swivelgal | Jul 14, 2010 |
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Please do not combine this "Bloom's Guides" work with either Margaret Atwood's original novel, The Handmaid's Tale, or with any other study guide or reference book editions. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0791075699, Hardcover)

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, part of Chelsea House Publishers' Bloom's Guides collection, presents concise critical excerpts from The Handmaid's Tale to provide a scholarly overview of the work. This comprehensive study guide also features "The Story Behind the Story," which details the conditions under which The Handmaid's Tale was written. This title also includes a short biography on Margaret Atwood and a descriptive list of characters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Margaret Atwood's feminist novel examines a world in which women are stripped of their rights after an ultra-right-wing group takes control of the United States.

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