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The Handmaid's Tale: Could Fiction Become Reality?

Updated on February 20, 2015

This great classic is a dystopian novel that leaves you right on the fence of thinking "this could never happen" and "wow, is this already happening?" Set in the future, the story follows the dramatic change in the life of a "handmaid" whose sole job has become that of bearing children for a selected group of elite families. Pollution has ravaged the country and caused widespread infertility in most women, leaving the handmaids in a precarious role of being revered for their ability to bear children, yet scorned for their "inability" to raise them properly - thus forcing them to hand their babies over.

In this future society, the reigning government's control is not limited to fertility and child rearing. They have taken society back centuries and gone to extreme lengths to limit the freedom of all women - no more reading, writing, or ownership.

For much of the book, you will enjoy the story for what it is - a fictional novel. But there will be times where you will realize that not only is this story possible, but there are parts of the world that suffer from strikingly similar injustices. You will be grateful for the world you live in, yet guilt-ridden for those that aren't afforded the same freedoms and luxuries.

When you finish this book, be sure to fully read the afterward - it will provide you with an extra ending that provides additional closure, as well as additional questions. This is a great book for a book club discussion or to expand your views on the freedoms most of us take for granted.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? Do you think this fiction could become reality?

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    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      This was a required summer reading book for one of my kids when they were in high school. It's still on our shelf and I plan on reading it soon. Thank you!