“How many awards is this TV series winning? I see it as a candidate everywhere! “
“Awards from critics or the public?”
“That’s the shocking thing: both!“
“Wow! We must start it then “
“Wait, it gets better”
“It is taken from a book: The Handsmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood”
“The same Atwood as Alias Grace ????”
“Tomorrow I’ll buy it !!!”
That’s how it went, no plot, setting, or other research. I immediately trusted the author I had met thanks to another wonderful novel from which they will soon draw (or maybe they have already drawn, I have to find out) a TV series: Alias Grace. A novel that kept me in suspense until the end and that I still remember as if I had read it yesterday even though at least ten years have passed!
I do not know why in all this time I have never read anything else by this fantastic author, maybe I had her on the list but in the meantime so many other books have come out that it slipped my mind.
As promised on the evening of discovery, the next morning I went to the bookstore and bought my copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, curious and full of expectations also given the success of the TV series it transposed.
“There is more than one kind of freedom. 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.”
I must say that I was not at all disappointed, if anything frightened!!!! Because the absurd and conservative and misogynistic future of which the nameless protagonist narrates, if not the one entrusted to her by the System, that is OFFRED (Of Fred, owned by the owner named Fred), is not so far from the possibility that it will come true.
I wish it was so. I would really like to think that it is the result of a perverse and unattainable fantasy, but if I reflect on today’s politics in quite a few countries, I feel a thrill of pure fear pervading me.
For the “greater good” of women and the poor, their rights are slowly being taken away, and since it is for the “greater good” at the beginning nobody protests. Then, when we realize that we are returning to slavery, it is too late, and every revolt is suppressed by gunfire.
Does it sound so absurd?
“Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.“
Not to me.
And as I went on reading I felt more and more distressed, women are no longer allowed to read and are labeled in various social tasks distinguished by a uniform with different colors: the Handmaids in red, the Wives in blue, the Aunts in black etc. . Offred is split in two: on the one hand the memory of the “old” life, the one in which there was freedom, she had a job, lived with a divorced man from whom she had a daughter, who was taken away from her by the new Government. On the other hand, the new self that struggles to adapt to the new life, because basically one gets used to everything, even to daily torture. And that’s what really devastated me the most.
“I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will . . . Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping.”
Fortunately, there are outlets of hope, similar positive characters that give OfFred and us readers a small but much-needed belief in change, a firefly in the dark. And with them we scroll through life page by page until….
Well, I certainly can’t reveal the ending!
It should be read. MUST BE READ.
Like any dystopian – political – religious novel, it should be read to stop any such madness in time. To remind us every minute that everything done for “a greater good” brings nothing but death and destruction! That taking away human rights from any person, ethnicity, gender is ALWAYS WRONG.
They may seem trivial concepts, but unfortunately hearing and reading the various speeches made around I prefer to reiterate it with conviction and loudly!
Before it’s too late….
After wrapping up the reading , I decided to continue hurting myself with the Hulu TV series starring the wonderful Elisabeth Moss, assisted by a gourgeous and perfectly in part cast.
Luckily, it’s Christmas soon, I think I’ll have a feast of sitcoms after this beating! I recommend both, book and series, because they are both worthwhile, with their differences above all, and for their similarities. For the Golden Globe interpretations, which if at the beginning of this adventure I was amazed by the many awards the cast was nominated for, now they seem few to me! And to remind us that it is ALWAYS worth FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS !!!!
“We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?“