The novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Artwood starts talking about a new world and society in which women are used for procreation only. The first chapter gives us a small hint of what life was before this new world came about. Maybe even how things could be if there wasn’t a Commander, which is the leader of this society, regulating your every day life.
The story is written in the first person point of view which is from Offred, one of the many girls living in this house with the Commander and his wife being used only to produce offsring. The interesting aspect of Offred is that she knows she doesn’t belong. She has memories of when she was a child, being able to dress as she pleased, not having to wear only red, the color of the Handmaids. She feels different and knows this is not the only life for her. She is not like the other girls who take pride in being used for children feeling proud to be the ones who get pregnant for the Commander. There is Janine who “looks at me, then, and around the corners of her mouthy there is the trace of a smirk. She glanced down to where my own belly lies flat under my red robe, and the wings cover her face (Atwood 27).
There is a lot of order in this society and the house where the Handmaids are kept runs like a military camp. The beds and sheets even are the ones used in the military “we had flannelette sheets, like children’s, and army issued blanks old ones that still said U.S” (Atwood 4). Everyone is distinguished by the color they wear, the Handmaids wearing the color red, the Commander black and his wife wears blue. Everything strictly regulated and enforced with guards which are known as angels standing gard outside, because they are not allowed inside. The story is a lot like 1984 in which the society is always being watched and everything single thing they do is controlled and closely monitored. It will be very interesting to know how they story will continue and how much more similarities will be found to the novel 1984. There is also that similarity from Station Eleven in which the memories of the old world haunt the person who knows how life could have been and how they want their life to be. All the changes that have occurred all of which they had no control nor say in.