Under His Eye: fundamentalism and fertility

Why do Offred’s (and the other handmaids’) experiences both terrify and resonate strongly with a 2017 audience? Did Atwood predict the future back in 1984 when she wrote the novel?

  • It is crazy how things are playing out in the world maybe he did see the furure – rayd 3 years ago
  • Maybe after 30 years of the Bushes and the Clintons making America their own private Verona, maybe Chaucer was always going to be,as Gore Vidal said of Capote meanly, Your Dante. – Antonius865 3 years ago
  • I think this also has a lot to do with the way that humanity exists in cycles, and the authors that write dystopian just have a way of identifying those cycles in a way that others can't. – talorelien 3 years ago
  • I agree with Talorelien's point that literature tends to be cyclical in nature. Atwood was responding to her own period, if you look at some of the original interviews and critics this is discussed clearly. However, what perhaps is interesting is that the appeal of 'The Handsmaid's Tale' has not actually ever waned. As pointed out, here story is still a valid allegory of American politics as it was in the 1980s. What might be interesting to explore further is the idea of the ongoing appeal of dystopian texts in today's social conscience. – SaraiMW 3 years ago
  • Atwood herself has somewhat already answered these questions. She pushes back by saying its irrelevant if she "predicted" the future. She instead addresses the point that she intentionally wrote everything from historical events or literature; in other words, everything in the book is already true in some capacity. – birdcat 2 years ago
  • History repeats itself- or at least that is what people tend to say. Atwood looked back on history to aid in the creation of her book. Her tales are ones that occurred in the past, so it would make sense that some version of them would come back in the present and future. How we got here matters, and it will dictate where we go. – simmerdownboyle 2 years ago
  • Perhaps it is so frightening because women historically have been oppressed so this story demonstrates an extreme that we hope to avoid. The modern day setting also creates the feeling that you can never be sure what to expect. – kattmccann 2 years ago

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