One of the required texts for my Writing About Women course is Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. For those of you who have never heard about this book, it is a distopian novel about a generation of enslaved men and women. Although the novel presents a world very much different than our own, I still believe that there are many aspects that are a lot like our present world.
In the novel, the women are punished for what they say, do, and even look like. This reminds me of the present because we are constantly under pressure to look, act, and be a certain way. The Handmaid’s are not allowed to use any type of beauty products, and the prostitutes are forced to use them. Today in the U.S. we are not being forced to (or not to) use beauty products, however there is a strong social and media pressure to do so. I believe that Atwood purpposely uses the rhetorical decision of creating laws such as this one in the Gileadan Society, in order to reflect on the issues that society faces or has faced in the present or past. For those of you who have not read the book, i strongly suggest it, and for those of you who have, what do you think?