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Should I Read This Book

In my english class my teacher wants us to read "The Handmaids Tale" by M. Atwood. My Dad says its immoral, anti-Christian, and I should respect him. But I have my own mind! Anyone heard of this book?

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 ---DonnaB on 3/25/06
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Caring, emg will not be answering you. The two posts below, which were obviously written on the same day but appear to be 13 months apart must have been written before November 2006 which is when she died. With all these re-posted posts there must be a lot of people on this site who wonder why they don't get replies. Some have died and some have long left the site.
---RitaH on 5/7/08

Operator: I think it is great advice. You wouldn't have this problem if she had kept her mouth shut. I have seen this happen many times. Including myself. I would give the same advice to husbands and wives. We don't have to share everything we know. Keep quiet on some things. It will take us further in life.
---Robyn on 5/6/08

emg, if you QUOTE a phrase from a book ad literam and state you're quoting, it is not breach of law.
---Caring on 5/5/08

Robyn, that's an irresponsible advice.
---Caring on 5/5/08

Your dad seems to be a controlling,immature and selfish person. If you are living under his roof, you should make plans to move as soon as you become an adult.
I have not heard of the book.I would read the book if it were assigned as part of my learning experience.Learn from this experience, as I am learning to do. Keep your mouth shut about such things from now.Especially where he is concerned.
---Robyn on 5/4/08

2. The book is sexually explicit using titillation and is not suitable for use in public classrooms. The author appears to be bitter towards males and creates fear and obsessions over sexuality issues. This a a very unhealthy view of sexuality not suitable for literature classes.
---emg on 5/4/08

This is reworded from something I found on the internet so as not to breach copyright laws. 'The author of this book is blasphemous and misquotes the bible to give degrading meanings to them. The point is made that as schools are not allowed to teach what the bible really does say then allowing this book to be studied in schools is unjustified as it misleads pupils. This is described as a very bad case of bias because untruths are taught about the bible with no opportunity to look at the original source.'
---emg on 4/15/07

Donna B, Why don't you ask your father to read it with you and help you discern the truths and errors contained in it. Why does it have to be either or? Perhaps then you, as a youth, and your dad could send a critique to this website. Perhaps you two could serve folks who'll come across this in the future.
---daphn8897 on 3/27/06

Donna: The problem is this, if you are a minor, then you must obey your parents and submit to their authority. It is a shame that your father is not open to you learning to think for yourself. I raised my kids differently. However, you need to learn submission to authority, your earthly father and more importantly, your heavenly father. Once you move out on your own, you will then only have to answer to your heavenly father.

If you are in college, it is a different story.
---Madison on 3/27/06

I would ask my teacher if she could suggest an alternative book to read citing that the book by Atwood is contrary to my convictions - religious and political. However, if I am stuck reading the book, my critique of it would be condemnation, not praise and I may even distribute my critique to others making it an issue with the teacher. There is a lot of trashy book out there today promoting anti-Christian values.
---lee on 3/27/06

My daughter(who is 48) lets her 10 year old watch harry potter. I tried to tell her it was not something anyone should watch. She then ask me,"How do you know"? "Did you ever see it?". I told her "no", but I saw commercials and told me enough. It is indeed, witchcraft, but she is intelligent with a masters degree, so she is much smarter than me. Get the drift?????
---shira on 3/27/06


Have you discussed your dilemma with your teacher? You need to respectfully state your situation, and then state that to the principal, if necessary.

Then report back to dad. Let the adults fight it out; the battle is not yours to fight.
---John_T on 3/27/06

Donna you don't do "bad" things huh? How about witchcraft?
The Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
You did not write here to find an answer. You wrote for support to throw in your fathers face.
Does it strike you as strange that your "mind" is closed to your dad but open to strangers like your teacher?
When the world gets finished beating you up and throws you in the gutter you will see that your dad is the one who loved you.
---Elder on 3/27/06

I've read the book at the University. I even worte my essay on it. Nothing is wrong with it. I used the book as a tool to testify about God. I learnt a lot and it just strengthened my faith. I think M. Atwood is a good writer, I read several books from her and she-just like anybody else-needs salvation.
---Dawn on 3/27/06

I do not do drugs, drink, or anything else 'bad. I do 'think.' What Dad and others do not understand is that their authority ends at the door to my mind. Dad once had me pulled out of a science class that taught evolution. We are ALWAYS fighting about books. They call it 'rebellion.' Its strange, they come down less hard on teens who use drugs, or who are goths, or sex than me for reading what they do not like. Teacher assigned the book, I will read it, period!

Moderator - SLC Guy?
---DonnaB on 3/26/06

Donna B if you believe in freedom so much how come you live in your Dads house?
Is it freedom to do as you please you believe in?
Who is more important to show honor, respect and love to, your teacher or your dad?
If you choose teacher then go live with them.
The teacher/school shows no respect for you or your parents if they force you to read something that goes against your fathers desire.
I am sure your dad knows enough about the book to ask you not to be involved with it.
---Elder on 3/26/06

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To settle this, this book is about what America would be if Born-again Fundamentalist 'took over' and created a Taliban type theocracy. The book is well researched, but rather far-fetched. The writers style is subjective, and this book is studied in colleges, and i guess high schools as well I have read the book, and seen the movie. I would have no problem with a 'late' teen reading it. Suggestion, do not condemn a book you have not read!!!
---Don_Peters on 3/26/06

DonnaB, I've never committed murder, but I would surely tell you not to do it. I've never read the Satanic Bible and would tell you it would be unwise for you to read that either. Other people have read the book and have provided ample information for your dad to have his concerns. Yes we can be "free" thinkers - but scripture says that the wise receives instruction... your dad is trying to instruct you here... I think you should listen.
---daphn8897 on 3/26/06

From reading Wikipedia, I see that the book is considered a college level piece of literature, and I believe it is probably good for raising discussions about the role of women in society. There was a time when women were treated as this book describes, and the thought that it could happen again is frightening.
---Madison on 3/26/06

emg: You can still cite your source without using the web address.

Donna: I believe that a person should read what they choose and participate intelligently in the discussion of areas that you disagree with. That is what intelligent people do when they study literature.

However, if you are a minor, you must obey your father. Is this college or high school English?
---Madison on 3/26/06

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I believe in freedom of thought, my Dad has never read the book, and is against it! How can one condemn a book without reading it? We had a fight about it. I believe in something caled 'freedom.'
---DonnaB on 3/26/06

Nurse Robert we are not allowed to post website names but I did an internet search just using the book title and was given a choice of many, many websites which discuss the contents of the book. One even told virtually the whole story so you will have no problem whatsoever in finding something and forming your own opinions. I would not wish any child or grandchild of mine to be coerced into reading this.
---emg on 3/26/06

EMG, Please quote your sources.
---NurseRobert on 3/26/06

Take a copy of the book to the school board, have them read it and see for themselves the content of the book. Today it seems people want you to read anything anti-Christian. Tell your teacher you won't read it because of its content. Obey your father ... both of them.
---Nellah on 3/26/06

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If you want to be a 'luke-warm,' 'make no waves,' 'do what everyone else does' person, then read it. If (and not just 'cuz your Dad says so) you see this for what it is: a sneaky attack on Christianity (see "emg" below), since we can't even READ let alone teach what the Bible really does say(!), then 'stand up' and complain about it. Tell 'em it's violating YOUR religious rights! There may be consequences for doing that, so decide whom you really want to follow: The 'world' or God.
---danie9374 on 3/25/06

Obeying your parents has better rewards than that book does. I'd listen to dad if I were you.
---john on 3/25/06

If you google for "The Handmaids Tale" you will find several sites. Look at SparkNotes, and you will find there is a plot sumary, and also a summary of the principal characters.
It is about a Christian dictatorship, and there is a lot of hypocracy & I suppose some may say that makes it anti-Christian. But every dictatorship ever has bred hypocracy.
---alan_of_UK on 3/25/06

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