Handmaid’s Tale essay gets a boost ... from Atwood
TORONTO — A social media user who turned to Twitter for help in writing an essay on “The Handmaid’s Tale” has received invaluable insight — from none other than author Margaret Atwood herself.
A Twitter user identified online as Momchil Gavrilov tweeted at the Canlit giant early Thursday morning with the plea: “My crazy English teacher is making us write essays on #TheHandmaidsTale where we are supposed to answer why @MargaretAtwood put the theme of power and control in the book.”
“We do not have telepathy with @MargaretAtwood so I guess twitter is a close second... Helpppp!!!??”
Atwood responded hours later from her verified account with a quick lesson on the major themes of her 1985 novel, set in a world in which women are state property.
“Because it’s in the world,” Atwood says in a tweet posted about 5 a.m. Thursday.
“It’s not just women who are controlled in the book. It’s everyone except those at the top. Gilead is a theocratic totalitarianism, not simply a men-have-power women-do-not world. Lowerstatus men are told when and who (to) marry, eg.”
The detailed response delighted online onlookers, who had retweeted the exchange more than 550 times and gave it almost 3,000 “likes” within five hours.
Atwood took an extra moment to defend the teacher’s assignment as a worthy endeavour.
“Nor does that English teacher sound so crazy. Just sayin’. Though it might be the admiring use of crazy, as in ‘Crazy, man!’” adds Atwood.