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Cornelsen Senior English Library - Literatur: Ab 11. Schuljahr - The Handmaid's Tale: Textband mit Annotationen und Zusatztexten (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juli 2005
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"'Moving, vivid and terrifying. I only hope it's not prophetic' Conor Cruise O'Brien, The Listener"
"'The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story' Angela Carter"
"'Our of a narrative shadowed by terror, gleam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit' Peter Kemp, Independent"
"'The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling' Linda Taylor, Sunday Times"
"'Powerful...admirable' Robert Irwin, Time Out" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Pappbilderbuch.
'Compulsively readable' Daily Telegraph -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Pappbilderbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Der Film, der nach dem Buch gedreht wurde, ist lange nicht so gut wie das Buch, auch fehlt im das sarkastischerweise angefügte Schlusskapitel, das dem Buch wirklich die Krone aufsetzt.
Even though Offred is the protagonist of this novel, she is not the typical heroine since she remains rather passive throughout the story: she appears to have accepted her fate as a handmaid for “her” high-ranked commander. While she does often think about her former family and also expresses her regret at missing out on her daughter’s childhood, she does not actively take action in order to change her situation. As far as her character traits are concerned, she has enough faults to appear human without them being such grave ones that the readers lose sympathy for her.
Despite being a dystopian novel, Margaret Atwood manages to deal with various thorny issues, one of which is the subject of power and control. In Gilead, everything is controlled by the regime: this becomes extremely perceptible when one looks at the handmaids’ names. Each of them starts with the prefix “of” followed by her Commander’s name – therefore, their names change with every move to another house, which is extremely offensive since this also takes a part of their identity away.
The author also deals with the topics of feminism and acceptance. One of the characters in the books, Moira, is definitely a strong representative of the former: not only is she a lesbian, but she also manages to escape the Red Centre where the future handmaids are schooled. This aspect will definitely appeal to readers who are looking for a more active figure. As far as acceptance is concerned, it soon becomes clear that quite a few women appear to remain indifferent to the loss of their rights as long as they still have some kind of power, even if it only consists of managing the households. This is underlined by the quotation: “Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.”
While reading this evocative story, one will soon discover that even seemingly banal thing such as magazines or games can be taken away from us and that we often underrate the importance of such little parts of our everyday lives.
The most shocking about the book is that it isn’t so surreal after all: some features actually exist in our world as well, for instance extreme religious movements or regions where women have no rights. Therefore, some may find this book too disturbing and fear-inducing or even consider it to be preposterous due to the way these negative occurrences are combined. I, however, consider it to be a riveting read, especially since the plot as well as the ending are far from being predictable.
In either way, when deciding to read this book, one should be prepared to be left haunted by a story that is unique in its own way and which may induce one to question our lifestyle as well: do we really appreciate the opportunities we have to live our lives to the fullest? Would we be prepared to fight for our rights if they were taken away from us or would we resign as well?
“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.”
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