The sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale” explores the workings of repression

But in “The Testaments”, Margaret Atwood charts a way out

12.9.2019

Long crimson gowns and winged white headdresses have become a universal symbol of women’s oppression

But in “The Testaments”, Margaret Atwood charts a way out

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“The Handmaid’s Tale” imagines that the American government has been overthrown by the Sons of Jacob, a fundamentalist Christian group. They murder the president and members of Congress—“they blamed it on the Islamic fanatics”—suspend the constitution and declare the Republic of Gilead. In this totalitarian state, men and women have strict roles. Men can be “Commanders” governing Gilead, “Eyes” (spies), “Angels” (soldiers) or “Guardians of the Faith” (sentries); some continue in professions deemed useful, such as doctors and accountants. Women can be Wives to Commanders, “Marthas” (household labourers), “Aunts” (disciplinarians for the regime) or “Handmaids” (surrogates who bear the Commanders’ children). The “Unwomen” who resist these roles are executed or dispatched to the Colonies, where they farm toxic land until they die. This system is explained by Offred (“Of-Fred”, the name of her Commander), a Handmaid.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” described the new regime’s brutality from Offred’s perspective only, showing how a politician’s promise of a better future “never means better for everyone…it always means worse, for some”. The scope of “The Testaments” is wider. It uncovers Gilead’s inner workings: the ideological hypocrisies, the fragile alliances, the institutional rot. It highlights, through Aunt Lydia, the coercive tactics employed by repressive states. Having previously been a judge, when the coup takes place Lydia is imprisoned in a former stadium. She is locked in solitary confinement, tortured and given a choice that is not a choice: to co-operate or die. In these conditions, even the strongest wills can be tamed. “You take the first step, and to save yourself from the consequences, you take the next one,” Aunt Lydia says.

Read more: The Economist

I thought the hijab was a symbol of women’s oppression nowadays. Long crimson gowns and winged white headdresses were the Christian hijab of the 17th century, weren't they? alllibertynews 🙂I knew this was coming.. Where, in the west, are women being 'oppressed'? Has it been translated to Arabic and Farsi yet?

no they haven't. 'Universal' is a big word, use it responsibly. If only there was a nonfictional type of clothing that could serve as that symbol 🤔 I would never wear such a thing. I will not be seen as a victim symbolically or otherwise. I feel the same about nuns’ habits, veils, robes, and all the other nonsense insecure males impose on women.

lol, another symbol, meaningless Fictional oppression, yes.

Margaret Atwood thinks Roe v. Wade will be overturned⁠—and there will be the 'most horrific backlash'The Canadian author's hotly anticipated sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale' comes out on Tuesday, September 10. Cool cool cool It's much more facile for women to band together and raise hell NOW than to start from scratch once Roe v. Wade is overturned. Apathy will cost us our reproductive rights. Uh, sorry but, not killing kids is, not horrific to me. This is a twisted reality

The real-life events that inspired 'The Testaments,' Margaret Atwood's 'Handmaid's Tale' sequelLike its predecessor, Margaret Atwood turns real-life issues into literary prose.

Margaret Atwood on New Book ‘The Testaments’: ‘Instead of Moving Away From Gilead, We Started Moving Towards It’Margaret Atwood, upon the worldwide publication Tuesday of her sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” said she was inspired to return to that repressive world because that repressive world had returned t… nice

'The Testaments': What 'The Handmaid's Tale' Sequel Means for the ShowHow will MargaretAtwood's The Testaments affect TheHandmaidsTale series?

Atwood says 'Handmaid's Tale' got much closer to reality, prompting sequelCanadian author Margaret Atwood says a deterioration in women's rights in some parts of the world, including in the United States, prompted her to write a sequel to her best-selling 1985 novel ‘The Handmaid's Tale’. TheTestaments beautiful weman. charming! she's also a huge bigot What a surprise

‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘When They See Us’ Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees ReceptionAva DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Televisio…

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