Femme Friday: The Handmaid’s Tale gives you words…good ones

The Handmaid’s Tale:  FOOD FOR CIVIL ACTION

Some days you just wake up and go… “Wow, this is truly Orwellian.” Or if you’re like me, you grab your copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and start thumbing through to reassure yourself that fiction is still worse. Lately, that’s getting harder. Maybe you’ve run into someone who blows your mind because they just don’t see that it’s not normal. It’s not good. It’s NOT wholesome. And you don’t know what to say.

Ok, so why pick The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for Femme Friday? Is Offred a strong female character? Doesn’t she cave? Doesn’t she give in? Doesn’t she submit to her oppressors? Doesn’t she allow herself to be used?

No, Offred finds small ways in which to rebel. Little ways. A look beyond her veil. A smile at an Angel. And eventually, her involvement with Mayday, the Resistance. Offred, in her quiet way, resisted. She never let herself forget what freedom had been and could be.

This week is less ‘me talking’ and more ‘you thinking’. I just want to offer a few quotes. Discuss their relevancy to what is going on today to dehumanize the poor, needy, and marginalized. Don’t think of Offred as a woman, think of her as representative of everyone who lives in peril whether because they are homeless or in mortal danger… now, not just under some uber-religious rule as is caricatured in this novel but by the twisted and un-godly regime that pretends holiness. Substitute gender with homeless or immigrant or refugee. Make Offred’s words come from a Sudanese, Somalian, Mexican, an senior citizen, a child, a homeless veteran…

“I wish this story were different. I wish it were more civilized.”

“You can’t help what you feel but you can help how you behave.”

“I would like to be without shame. I would like to be shameless. I would like to be ignorant. Then, I would not know how ignorant I was.”

“Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently.”

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

“I don’t have to tell it. I don’t have to tell anything, to myself or to anyone else. I could just sit here peacefully. I could withdraw. It’s possible to go so far in, so far down and back, they could never get you out.”

“Are they old enough to remember anything of the time before, playing baseball, in jeans and sneakers, riding their bicycles? Reading books, all by themselves? Even though some of them are no more than fourteen—Start them soon is the policy, there’s not a moment to be lost—still they’ll remember. And the ones after them will, for three or four or five years; but after that they won’t They’ll always have been in white, in groups of girls; they’ll always have been silent.”

“If you don’t like it, change it, we said, to each other and to ourselves.”

***

About the Author

Jayne Fury is a speculative fiction romance author. She likes colored pens and ukuleles. Ironing is her zen. You can find her books on Amazon and other online retailers.  You found her home here at this blog but you can also follow her (and she loves to chat) on social networks (social follows are up on the right). AND… if you havne’t already, sign up for the Jayne’s Ninja News or if you’re into it, the Advanced Reader Copy team (Jaynie’s Ninjas) is looking for a more to the corps.

 

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