What We Learned From Reading ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

After finishing the text, Gaby, Adam, and Will sit down for their final discussion. They discussed the big issues that Atwood brings up in her book: feminism, religion, and dominance. One of the biggest lessons they learned was that these issues are much more subtle than we typically think. For instance, feminism has come in three different waves: 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd wave. Issues arose when trying to pin down exactly what Atwood was criticizing and what she was supporting. 

The consensus seemed to be that Atwood was bringing attention to what would happen if 2nd wave feminism was taken to the extreme. Along with Religions ability to control individuals, 2nd wave feminism was used to sanctify women to the point where they were untouchable. This benefits nobody, the true essence of feminism is equality- part of which involves embracing sexuality. 


Atwood’s book is a gripping tale of isolation, loneliness, and dehumanization. She is constantly remembering parts of her life with her husband and daughter. By the end, we never find out what actually happened to her family. The main character is able to escape, but that is not after witnessing countless horrors throughout the book. Similar to books about war, even survival is not necessarily an escape.

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