The Handmaids Tale
Will society ever reach a point where it is considered the 'natural norm' by all, and therefore unable to undergo further change? It is impossible to imagine that such a point could ever exist, as all people would have different belief, values and expectations according to their past experiences. In The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the oppressive Gilead regime enforces their new ideals on the unsuspecting population. When compared with our contemporary society, the Gilead rule shows us our world in a different and more critical light and shocks us with what we see. It shows us the truth, makes us realise, pulls back the layers of cotton wool and forces us to look at the world as it really is, how it may come to be and the evils and problems within it.
The Handmaid's Tale, being science fiction, is based around the future of our society today.
Margaret Atwood is predicting what our world will be like if we continue on the way we are. She uses common problems throughout the world such as pollution of the environment to relate people from all walks of life to what has happened in Gilead. By exaggerating these potential disasters she shows us our future in order to shock us into an awareness that our present activities are not only endangering the environment and the animals whose habitats we are destroying but also jeopardizing the survival of the human race.
The way the new regime is enforced also makes us look at our society with a critical eye. The change to the Gilead way is very gradual and slowly creeps up on the people without them realising it. "Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually warming bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew...