Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale Audiobooktext
In the course of increasingly conservative policies, women are often the first to suffer a reduction in their most basic rights.
When this novel is adapted into series, it becomes the emblem of an entire generation of struggling women, a recognizable political emblem and one that certainly highlighted, through the cape, what tended to be obscured in the book.
The causes need symbols and the cloak of “the scarlet handmaiden” has become that of the struggle for women’s rights, in a political context where these same rights tend to be reduced more and more in certain countries. Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale Audiobook.
The quote from Simone de Beauvoir “Never forget that it will only take a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be called into question. These rights are never acquired. You will need to remain vigilant throughout your life. Has never been so topical.
The author imagines a totalitarian theocracy where women are reduced to the simple role of womb, deprived of their identity, of knowledge. Thirty years later, its warning-like plot is more modern than ever.
When I started reading, I had a hard time detaching myself from the Defred of the series, so much the actress is inhabited by her role, but I got attached to the Defred of Margaret Atwood, brunette, 1.68m, 33 years old …
Servant, entirely dressed in red except for her white wings, symbol of purity, which frame her face, she has the obligation to procreate, for the Republic of Gilead.
The choice of the name of the Republic: Gilead or Gilead, is not an innocent choice, on the part of Margaret Atwood. Gilead designates a community, a mountain (Mount Gilead in North Carolina) as well as a township in the United States. But it is also the name of a district of a suburb of Sydney.
In an interview, the author talks about Australia and these aboriginal children stolen from their parents, to be placed in white families. There is only one step to detect a parallel with Defred and the fact that his daughter was taken from him.
In biblical texts, the city of Gilead is the representation of a healing medicine. Thus, we are not far from the ideology of the Gilead of the Scarlet Handmaid: to have found “the solution” to save a world suffering from infertility!
Defred, a woman whose identity has been erased to the point that the author conceals her completely. She became, the servant of the man to whom she belongs. Defred, detached from her carnal envelope, is nothing more than a belly. It is disturbing, for us, readers, who would like to see her revolt, react to the minimum … However, I found that the author, through Defred, depicted this psychological disconnection which occurs when one does not accept not the inconceivable. This detachment, disturbing for us, is revealing of the quality of the construction of this character. the brain goes into save mode, into automatic mode and even if sometimes there are jerks of return to reality, the reality is so murky that Defred prefers to survive beside his pumps. So, yes, she accepts her condition … But does she really have a choice in this society where each woman has a very precise role, excessively codified, with the Marthas, who are responsible for maintaining the homes of the elites, the Economists and wives of commanders. None have a choice.
Clothing and colors reflect the social hierarchy. An outfit as well as a color assigned to women is also a symbolism that is frequently found in history. It wasn’t that long ago that social origin was recognizable from the clothes people wore. The yellow star, is the most recent example …
One of the finest symbolism and which can be overlooked, because not explained, is that of the clothes worn by the women of Gilead, broadly derived from the iconography nun…
The wives with blue, symbol of the purity of the Virgin Mary.
The Servants with this red, which can have several symbols, but the one that jumped out at me the most is that of the paintings of Mary Magdalene on certain paintings. The novelist has also evoked this aspect: “red is the cross … red is blood”, a reference to theocracy on one side and childbirth on the other …
The wives of poor men, “eco-women “, Wear striped clothes.
This book qualified as feminist, whether by readers, feminist movements and let us say it clearly the community manager, is not feminist! Feminist movements tend to show women as fragile beings, who must be protected, who must fight, who are victims… I am not a victim! Women are above all human beings with flaws, qualities. Each of Margaret Atwood’s women has her own character with the behavior that goes with it. Each enriches the story. Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale Audiobook.
Men are not all represented as monsters. Each man is dependent on the group and the organization. They are also victims of this theocracy, a man is not part of the elite, he will not be able to have a wife, he must demonstrate by his actions that he is worthy of it. The elite decide… So the social position has a capital importance in the conception of this book! I saw nothing feminist in the fact that a man, is excluded from the possibility of having a woman if he is not considered worthy … The only difference in the treatment, man-woman, is that the woman is discriminated against by her condition, while man is discriminated against by her social condition. And this is where the nuance lies …
Margaret Atwood’s novel is a compendium of various symbolisms. She manages to produce a clever mixture of it, sometimes confusing, as if she had put small papers in a jar and drawn lots as and when she wanted to talk. I never imagined finding so many historical references in these pages. I really like this kind of process, which demonstrates the talent of the author.
It is a reading that deserves, the density of the subject, the symbols and the construction, make it a timeless literary masterpiece. If you are looking for lightness, go your way …