The Republic of Gilead (formerly known as the USA) is a hardcore Christian Saudi Arabia with the batshit cranked all the way up. It might also be Mike Pence’s American Dream. May the lord open. Or not.
I love this book. The story is told from the point of view of Offred, a Handmaid. Due to war and radiation and the lack of babies and so on, young fertile women in Gilead are treated as nothing more than baby-making machines, known as Handmaids. Gilead is a fairly new republic, and Offred remembers a time when life was free and pants were legal, which makes this story a little more painful.
It isn’t just painful, though. It’s dull, dark, and depressing. Offred often seems lifeless, or dead, which might be a turn off for some readers; but what else would you expect from someone living in a fucked up society like that?
Blessed be the tidbits:
“Bodily functions at least remain democratic. Everybody shits."
“My nakedness is strange to me already. My body seems outdated. Did I really wear bathing suits, at the beach? I did, without thought, among men, without caring that my legs, my arms, my thighs and back were on display, could be seen. Shameful, immodest. I avoid looking down at my body, not so much because it’s shameful or immodest but because I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to look at something that determines me so completely."
“It isn’t running away they’re afraid of. We wouldn’t get far. It’s those other escapes."
“We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice."
-“Give me children, or else I die. There’s more than one meaning to it."_
“We are two-legged wombs, that’s all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices."
“It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the President and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time."
“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze."
Hi there! 👋 Want to be informed of new posts via email?