“A taut thriller, a psychological study, a play on words.…A rich and complex book.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Margaret Atwood, inspired by both parts of history and contemporary issues of the 1980s including Nazi Germany and conservative revival in the West, thrusts her protagonist, Offred, into a hellish future where women’s rights have been entirely reversed. In this eerily plausible dystopia women have been utterly objectified into nothing more than baby makers due to the dangerously low population rate. They have a single function; to reproduce for infertile women of higher status. The Handmaid’s Tale is made all the more terrifying when considering how Atwood stated that nothing that occurs in the novel has not happened before at some point in history.
Atwood’s dystopia is thick with rituals which twist religion, degrade women and disturb the reader. One factors that makes The Handmaid’s Tale so brilliantly disturbing is that, alike countless dystopian novels,’ it modifies sex into merely a necessary task to sustain the population.