I couldn’t remember if I had read this previously, and it being a classic, thought I ought to do so again just to make sure. I also wanted to read it in light of all the books on prostitution I had been reading. It is a story of both survival and weakness. I’m no longer sure how believable the main character (the handmaid) is, as she slowly chooses to deteriorate, instead of continuing to fight using the many opportunities given to her. Yet, Atwood depicts none of the handmaids as really surviving – even those who choose to fight lose their life in some way or another. The same cannot be quite said for our society or even those who have been pushed into prostitution. The cost for those in prostitution is high but not as high as for those in Atwood’s novel.
I think, though, I discovered why I don’t remember reading it previously – I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it nor even what to make of a juxtaposition of prostitutes with handmaids.