On May 13 of this year, Margaret Atwood wrote an article in Atlantic which two months later became prophetic. In a very harsh text, he claims that he created the state of Gilead in fiction, but the Supreme Court of North America was going to bring it to life. He was referring to the horrifying context of his book. The Handmaid’s Talein which a totalitarian and cruel system took control of the United States But what seemed like a full-fledged dystopia seemed to come true with a controversial court decision of the country’s highest legal body.

On June 22, the US Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion in some states. The decision opened up the possibility of other similar restrictions in the legal field of the country. It is disturbing that this phrase seems to be an echo of the world that Atwood imagines. Both in the book (turned into a dulogy in 2019) and in the series the so-called state of Gilead began with controversial court decisions. Then in increasingly specific and violent restrictions and restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. After all, the legal system of the country made pregnancy and the possibility of conception a fact connected with the total control of the law. Which eventually degenerated into a puritanical system that turned women into sex slaves.

Margaret Atwood started writing The Handmaid’s Tale inspired by the possibility of unprecedented legal control over public life. In the 1980s, the writer was in West Berlin after returning from a tour of communist Europe. The inspiration for his totalitarian dystopia is obvious., although not so easy. The notion of power turned into a tool of mass manipulation is part of what Atwood found behind the Iron Curtain.

But there is more to the novel’s troubled history than repression and political interests. This is a look at the possibility of depersonalization of the individual in favor of the state. What is more disturbing is the clear understanding of the possibility of power as a machine that destroys individuality.

Science fiction obsessions become reality

Collective control by governments and repressive regimes is not a new topic in the literature. George Orwell reflected on the devastation of personality and allegory great observer in the book 1984. The most famous dystopia of all and one of the most complex, this is part of today’s obsession with control and rightful domination. However, for Atwood, the horror of submission to authority has a clear emotional and sensual root. In Orwell’s novel, information, history and propaganda reconstruct the landscape of reality. On the other hand, Atwood is a take on flamboyant horror based on moral manipulation. The story of a theocracy that destroys identity through control of female reproductive capacity becomes a terrifying landscape.

The Handmaid’s Tale

But The Handmaid’s Tale this is more than a dystopia. Margaret Atwood has repeatedly stated that this is a disturbing omen of a possible future. In one of the story’s most disturbing passages, Atwood brings up a very rare and hard-to-digest concept he calls the “ability to disbelieve.” In the novel, before the bewildered eyes of the protagonists, society is slowly turning into a violent theocratic totalitarianism. Gradually, the characters internalize the change in terms of surprise and submissiveness. Power subverts and distorts inalienable rights and turns them into something else, on a progressive path that eventually becomes a precipitous fall into the abyss.

And it is disbelief that keeps this slow process going, frightening, realistic, and possible. “They were smaller than you might expect,” he writes. “We didn’t wake up when they massacred Congress. Even when the terrorists were accused and the Constitution was suspended,” says the narrator, describing the prolegomena of the tragedy with severe fatalistic melancholy. In the end, the writer manages to understand what a painful path to the core of generations and collective fears is. The final fall of everything we imagine gives shape to the time we know.

An Unintentional Prediction: The Handmaid’s Tale and Collective Fears

The author has always claimed that it took her two or three years to come across the novel. That more than once he considered himself a dangerous hybrid between speculative science fiction, dystopia and criticism disguised as tragedy. But even so, the idea continued to bother him until he could not write it down.

Atwood sought to imbue the scenario he envisioned with the decline of society and culture, as we know it, with icy, harsh realism. American liberal democracy is defeated by a violent plunge into disaster. An industrial and biological abyss that has swallowed up any idea of ​​intellectual progress. For the theocratic republic that replaced state institutions, Atwood created a concept based on the foundations of 17th-century Puritanism.

In the rapid social and political transformation described in the book, fear is the protagonist. Precisely because of his ability to crush the will of the masses and turn it into a disturbing look at the acceptance of power as an emotional core. After all, the novel supports the premise of religion and law based on the Bible as evidence of a not entirely impossible historical failure. Atwood plays with an idea and turns it into a measurable and measurable opportunity.

The Handmaid's Tale Feminist

In the novel, the population suffers from a series of environmental and social tragedies that reduce their ability to generate. It is then that fertility—or the ability to conceive— becomes goodness and reason supporting totalitarianism. Also in the pretense of stripping women of all identity and turning men into slaves to a scattered greater good. Everything is centralized and backed by a hierarchy.

Major Success The Handmaid’s Tale it is its ability as speculative fiction to be believable. The entire novel has a crisp, detailed, tiny, everyday feel to it that makes it deeply terrifying. Not intentionally,Margaret Atwood admitted that everyday life is her main source of inspiration.. An amazing fact in an era of passion for the extravagant and exaggerated.

In the novel, the author uses allegory to reflect on cultural defeats. But he does this not out of arrogance, but out of the petty everyday life of his protagonist. His realistic view of an extraordinary situation that affects him indirectly, but threatens his very existence. Atwood is making more than just a moral claim: he is questioning the same ethical fact with simple, sharp pain. Is the prediction about to come true? Time will tell.

Source: Hiper Textual

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