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Book Review Of The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

Decent Essays
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a novel about how the government revoked women’s rights and made their sole purpose reproduction. According to Atwood, the novel is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts around and based in Harvard University. There are many reasons Atwood would choose a major university as headquarters of the new regime, including location, materials, and population.
There are multiple moments in The Handmaid’s Tale that indicate the new regime is set in a populated city and university. For example, in the first chapter Offred describes the Red Center as an old gymnasium, which could be the gymnasium of Harvard University. Later in the novel, Jezebel’s, the commanders’ club, is found to be located inside of an old hotel, which implies they are situated near a large city. As for why Atwood would choose a major university for headquarters of the new regime, a university is an already established location with large buildings that can be used as housing, such as old dorms, and office buildings in old classrooms. Not only is the campus a good location, but major universities are usually located near large cities and that means the headquarters would have access to stores that were already established, more residential areas, and public spaces. Another reason for Atwood to choose Harvard as the headquarters is because of the population of the university. The people living at universities are not only the young age the regime is looking for but they are
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By using a major university as headquarters of the new regime, Atwood is able to convey how easy it was to convert a place once meant for learning into the headquarters of a regime that tore down women’s rights. She showed that even though education was a desirable characteristic, it is also fallible and easily molded into something non
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