Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is more relevant than ever. And no, it wasn’t written in response to Trump.
Released in 1985, Atwood’s novel has long been a staple on school curriculums. It’s a pointed critique of patriarchal regulations placed on women’s bodies, an exploration of the societal pressures that fester into harmful female relationships, and the cost of progress.
An adaptation has been in the works for streaming service Hulu for a while, under the direction of Bruce Miller. The first full-length trailer was released earlier today and it looks amazing. The original sci-fi story stands strongly on its own, but there’s something about the waves of red capes and white veils which are so visually imposing its easy to see that the Hulu adaptation will enrich – and perhaps broaden – Atwood’s tale.
The cast is lead by Elizabeth Moss as Offred, Samira Wiley as Moira, Joseph Fiennes as the Commander, and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy.
The trailer gives very little away, beginning with the lines “I was asleep before. That’s how we let it happen…now I’m awake”. The sci-fi novel is set in modern America (although a year is never assigned), where infertility plagues the nation. After the murder of Congress and destruction of the Constitution, a totalitarian organisation abolishes the independence of its female citizens. All fertile women are forced into roles as surrogates for government officials; all infertile women are sent to work “elsewhere” to die of radiation exposure.
The rationale behind the regime is familiar: “Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some”.
The whole narrative reeks of familiarity, really. In 2017, when the US President seeks to confine the increasingly liberal American society, this project has touched on a sore point. For Trump supporters.
Perhaps unable to grasp the irony of their actions, Trump supporters are bombarding the trailer’s comment section. They’re either ignorant of the fact that ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ has been in circulation for three decades, or they just…don’t give a shit about truth?
Ah well, I’ll just leave a quote from the novel riiiight here “Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” Keep working, guys!
Here are some choice quotes –
Alex xeon: “Idiotic feminist man hating leftist propaganda dragged out from the celler and made into a show and to be use as anti trump propaganda to radicalise low iq morons but not realising that this will only swing the Overton window further to the right”
Beqa Samkharadze: “That is some feminazi shit”
D-7019 Last Name: “So in this universe, the country was conquered by liberalism and Islam? What argument is it trying to make? it seems to be against Trump in the first 15 seconds, but then it turned the other way around right after. I’m confused.”
In reply to D-7019 Last Name: “Go to your local library and ask the librarian for the book ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. It is rather interesting how ignorance can be avoided if one simply stops rambling and listens. So many, on both sides of this Political climate, give too much credit to President Trump. This isn’t about him. This is a story with which we make our own connects. What you take from it is up to you my friend”
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” – Margaret Atwood, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
Watch the trailer for yourself. The show will air on April 26.