“But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.”
― Margaret Atwood,
She is a Handmaid, forbidden to use her birth name. Offred as she is known must serve her master, the male member of the home she is meant to serve. The Handmaid’s Tale by the Canadian Author Margret traverses across New England, in the Republic of Gilead, and brings to the forefront women who are under subjugation in a patriarchal society. These women are denied the most basic rights, to live life on their own-independently.
A Handmaid is a woman with a healthy reproductive organ meant to produce healthy children for the upper ruling class, due to the increasing infertility among them. These fertile women bear children for the elite, barren couples. It’s a tough life indeed for these handmaids. They are allowed to leave the home of the Commander (where they serve) once a day to the market. They must lie on their back once a month and pray with all their might that the Commander is able to make them pregnant. The handmaids are valued only if they are fertile enough to produce a child.Despite the narrative of the book failing to keep me hooked (well I quite found the tone of the book to be pretty monotonous), the character of Offred stayed in my mind after that last page was turned over. Having lost her family and friends, and being held captive in the Commanders house, Offred persisted to live life. Despite the cruel physical and mental agony she had to put up with, there was that element of spark within her to stay true, defiant and spirited, and at times with a sense of humor too.
The Handmaids Tale as a book may not stay with you for long after that last page, but the character of Offred would definitely stay!
This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I write about twenty six women characters from books, who have left an impact on me. You can read the previous posts here- Women in Books
The book is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.