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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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The Handmaid's Tale (original 1985; edition 1986)

by Margaret Atwood (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
36,037103848 (4.11)2089
This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.
Member:samanthawestlake
Title:The Handmaid's Tale
Authors:Margaret Atwood (Author)
Info:Seal Books (1986), 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

  1. 727
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (cflorente, norabelle414, Schwehnchen)
  2. 544
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (ateolf)
  3. 413
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (fannyprice)
  4. 392
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (readerbabe1984, rosylibrarian, ateolf, browner56)
    browner56: Two chilling, though extremely well written, reminders that liberty, freedom, and self-determination are not idle concepts.
  5. 264
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (mrstreme)
  6. 161
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Schwehnchen, mcenroeucsb)
  7. 249
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (cflorente)
  8. 161
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (smiteme)
  9. 219
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret)
  10. 120
    Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: An upside down recommendation, as this is an "all-women" utopia rather than a dystopia, but a fun read.
  11. 110
    When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: The Handmaid's Tale is the classic forerunner to dystopic fiction of sexist futures. When She Woke picks up the mantel with a more modern version of a misogynistic theocracy taking over government. Both show terrifying futures for the state of women in society.… (more)
  12. 110
    The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper (lesvrolyk)
  13. 112
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (smiteme)
  14. 101
    We: A Novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin (themephi)
  15. 124
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (wosret, Kaelkivial)
    Kaelkivial: Both stories of strong women who resist (in one form or another) the system that holds them down. Both books fairly fast paced and gripping; acts of violence and loss scattered throughout.
  16. 91
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (LamontCranston)
  17. 157
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (readerbabe1984)
  18. 92
    The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (bookcrushblog)
  19. 70
    I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman (wosret)
  20. 92
    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (k8_not_kate)

(see all 66 recommendations)

1980s (1)
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English (988)  Spanish (12)  French (7)  Catalan (5)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (3)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Arabic (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (1,032)
Showing 1-5 of 988 (next | show all)
El libro tiene mucho de las distopias mas aclamadas en su estructura incluyendo su final (1984, fahrenheit 451 y un mundo feliz) en ese plano saca un aprobado.
Hay que leerlo entre lineas en muchas ocasiones, analizar cada momento para encontrarle muy buenos significados que valorizan a la mujer, la misma autora explica que es un libro feminista desde el punto de vista de la enorme importancia y crucial rol historico de las damas.
El libro es necesario, muestra una degeneracion de la sociedad que ha ocurrido en varios aspectos en epocas pasadas. Detalla muy bien lo que la protagonista siente y pasa, te podes compenetrar perfectamente.

Sino captas el final, no entiendes de las hermosas distopias literarias ( )
  Enzokolis | Jan 17, 2022 |
Thought provoking, and feminist without being anti-male. The story and characters are engaging. I would give it five stars except here are some minor issues about consistency in the time line, and it is too gloomy for some readers to tolerate. ( )
  Michael_Lilly | Jan 10, 2022 |
stunning, i loved it ( )
  austinburns | Dec 16, 2021 |
The Handmaid's Tale is set in a futuristic dystopian state called Gilead. Gilead is a patriarchial state where childbearing is the only valued contribution women make. Offred, the main character, remembers her previous life with her husband and daughter, but is now a Handmaid. The role of the handmaid is to become impregnated by the commander, of the head of the household and the most important member of society. A ceremony for conception takes place monthly with the wife of the commander in attendance. There is no romance or feeling, it is purely a ritual which must take place until conception. Women in Gilead are not allowed to read, write, own property or handle money. They basically have no rights. The Commanders' wives wear blue, the Handmaid's wear red, the Aunts (train and brainwash the Handmaids), the Marthas (cooks and maids) wear green. Offred befriends Nick, the Commander's assistant, in whom she confides her past. She and her husband had been captured and then separated while trying to escape to Canada.

The Commander takes a liking to Offred and meets with her secretly. However Serena Joy, the Commander's wife, discovers their get togethers and calls the police who come and take Offred away in a van. The end of the book takes place far in the future at a symposium where Gilead is being discussed. A tape recording, presumably by Offred, tells bits and pieces of her story and life in the Republic of Gilead. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Dec 12, 2021 |
Disturbing, yet intriguing and hard to stop reading ( )
  SallyElizabethMurphy | Dec 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 988 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, FlorenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danes, ClaireNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, JoannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moss, ElisabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennati, CamilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

And she said, Behold my maid Bihah, go in unto her, and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
                              — Genesis 30:1–3
But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal . . .
                              — Jonathan Swift,
A Modest Proposal
In the desert there is no sign that says, Thou shalt not eat stones.
                              — Sufi proverb
Dedication
For Mary Webster and Perry Miller
First words
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
Quotations
As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and, try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.
Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I’m nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water.
The shell of the egg is smooth but also grained; small pebbles of calcium are defined by the sunlight, like craters on the moon. It’s a barren landscape, yet perfect; it’s the sort of desert the saints went into, so their minds would not be distracted by profusions. I think that this is what God must look like: an egg. The life of the moon may not be on the surface, but inside.
But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control ... Maybe it’s about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia, 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Reading Guide Edition is the substantial equivalent the main Handmaid's Tale work, with a few additional pages of questions for groups to consider at the back. Please therefore leave these works combined together. Thank you
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This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

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Book description
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.
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