Monday, September 20, 2010
This week those of us participating in the read along of "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood read Sections XIII through XV and this was a greater than ever proof to me that the movie version of this book should never have been made. It reminded me of most Stephen King adaptations to the big screen--there's no way to make the horror you feel when you read the book translate to the big screen.
I don't necessarily want a book to end with all of the issues settled and everything tied up neatly with a bow. On the other hand, not doing that can feel very abrupt, as if the author just got tired of writing. Atwood does not, by any means, give the reader all of the answers at the end of the book. But she doesn't leave the reader hanging either; in fact, after all of the sadness and horror of the book, Atwood leaves the reader with the idea that there may be hope for Offred. Curiously, it's when the reader may start to feel better that Offred herself begins to feel badly about her actions and responses. She begins to feel that she's the one committing a betrayal.
If you haven't already read this book, read it. Now more than ever, I think it's a really important piece of work that will make the reader think about the things that are happening in our own time. To contemplate what happens in this book may just make you rethink your complacency.