criticizing the handmaid’s tale at the midway point

I am reading The Handmaid’s Tale and I am growing bored and angry teeny bit by teeny bit not because of feminist agendas but because I feel I am being force-fed ideas and metaphors and I find it impossible to forget that I am reading a fictional story that was written by a person who did not live through these events.

Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover… Maybe night falls because it’s heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket. I wish I could see in the dark, better than I do.

Night falls. Lights dim: a decrease (a fall) in apparent luminosity is more often than not matched by a lowering (a decrease; a fall) in temperature due to sun rays striking the surface of this almost-sphere we inhabit more and more indirectly as we rotate (quite quickly, but seemingly not so) into darkness.  The sun is stationary, but we monitor its motion: its rise and its set: dawn in and dusk out.  The moon is second fiddle to the warmth light gravitational pull of the sun.  The moon is basically of negligible importance when referencing the time of day, because of the much higher significance of the sun for determining daily patterns and sleep cycles.  The sun is life-giving: the solar to our solar system: our reference point: our zero tare: the baseline by which we measure time in relation to.  A moonrise is eclipsed by a sunset.  Darkness doesn’t rise: light is snubbed out.  Night does fall because it is heavy and oh let’s play with light’s other opposite.  A thick curtain over eyes (pulling curtains over eyes? they are the window’s the the sol – pun pun, nudge nudge): but of course, it’s made of wool. Sheep little sheep herded by tiny shepherds, unable but yearning to see flee be free leaving undercover (sight-seeing, but unseen) in the cover of the night.

I’ll stop. It’s a great story. I am just over the heavy-handed metaphor and discussion of language mixed with first-person narration, although I am obviously a huge fan of metaphor, language and general wordplay. This is all quite troubling. I am very torn. I think I would be a bigger fan of Atwood if she wrote essays. 

I also think the title should be A Handmaid’s Tale, signifying that there are many other individuals with parallel stories, but that is just me being overly picky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s