“You wanted a woman’s culture. Well, now there is one. It isn’t what you meant, but it exists.”
A 1985 dystopia set in a severe and hypocritical (aren’t they all?) theocracy, Atwood’s tale is a cautionary tale about how American culture could degenerate under the combines pressures of extended Cold War and the environmental assault of then-current industrial practice.
“No empire imposed by force or otherwise has been without this feature: control of the indigenous by members of their own group.”
The story’s confused chronology is due to the semi-stream-of-consciousness remanences of one of the titular handmaids, partly explained in the accompanying Historical Note. Atwood tells just enough to propel Continue reading