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Illustration for article titled Rereading the Handmaids Tale

While on an Atwood kick, I decided to re-read "The Handmaid's Tale" b/c I haven't read it since high school. Blown away all over again. The most interesting thing, to me, was how my reading of it changed after a few years passed. When I first read it, I hadn't really had much experience and found the sex scenes to be the most horrifying part...graphic, disturbing, compulsory. Reading as an older person, I actually found myself slightly jaded to the sex and more moved by the tragedy of her daughter being ripped away from her with no hope of finding her again. The character of Serena Joy hit me harder on the second reading as well...maybe because, as I'm older, I feel that I understand her character slightly more now? I'd also completely forgotten about the weird historical-context epilogue...Atwood is so funny in offering this bizarre little palate-cleanser after the horror of the main story.


Also, who remembered that the sex club in the book was named "Jezebel's"? If so, you go Glen Coco!

Has anyone else had a similar experience in re-reading this book?

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