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  1. #11
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Are you sure that you're missing something?

    Could it be that it's missing something?
    I've read a lot of books that didn't make any sense until I read the footnotes. However, I suppose most people think that The Handmaid's Tale is modern enough not to require footnotes... like, it feels like I'm missing historical context.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #12
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Perhaps the sites are implying trends of re-emerging chauvinism and ultraconservativism as an answer to globalism? Gilead seems to be an example of religious fundamentalism dressed up in a western cloak of twisted values.

  3. #13
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litvyak View Post
    Perhaps the sites are implying trends of re-emerging chauvinism and ultraconservativism as an answer to globalism? Gilead seems to be an example of religious fundamentalism dressed up in a western cloak of twisted values.
    there seemed to be very little discussion of globalism in the book, though, just the use of ultraconservatism as a means to control and perpetuate the populace.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    there seemed to be very little discussion of globalism in the book, though, just the use of ultraconservatism as a means to control and perpetuate the populace.
    Hence why I don't think you feel you "get it", because, being alive 20 years later, this "trend" doesn't seem to be any more pervasive now then it was then, and at neither time was it really all that pervasive.

    Her narrative sounds preachy, alarmist, and reactionary.

    My guess is that you're just not convinced by her vision...

  5. #15
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Hence why I don't think you feel you "get it", because, being alive 20 years later, this "trend" doesn't seem to be any more pervasive now then it was then, and at neither time was it really all that pervasive.

    Her narrative sounds preachy, alarmist, and reactionary.

    My guess is that you're just not convinced by her vision...
    Is that it? That it seems like this had a chance to happen, but it didn't, because we are not apt to plunge into depths of dystopia but instead suffer whiplash by being yanked back and forth?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #16
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Are you sure that you're missing something?

    Could it be that it's missing something?
    Z, I am perplexed - you are offering opinions on a book you admittedly have never even read. Am I missing something here? How are you helping Haphazard?

    H, maybe this link will assist: Books@Random | The Handmaid's Tale: Readers' Group Companion

    Will give you more context. Then if you have specific questions, I need more than "I don't get it." If you ask something specific, it would be my pleasure to try to be a help.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  7. #17
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Z, I am perplexed - you are offering opinions on a book you admittedly have never even read. Am I missing something here? How are you helping Haphazard?

    H, maybe this link will assist: Books@Random | The Handmaid's Tale: Readers' Group Companion

    Will give you more context. Then if you have specific questions, I need more than "I don't get it." If you ask something specific, it would be my pleasure to try to be a help.
    My first question, from reading the interview: has Margaret Atwood ever been to the United States for an extended period of time?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #18
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    ^ I suppose when she went to Harvard ...

    That would be in the 60's and I believe she taught in the US too, early 70's. Don't know if she's lived here more than that.

    Edit: from good ol' Wikipedia:

    In late 1961, after winning the E.J. Pratt Medal for her privately printed book of poems, Double Persephone, she began graduate studies at Harvard's Radcliffe College with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship. She obtained a master's degree (MA) from Radcliffe in 1962 and pursued further graduate studies at Harvard University for 2 years, but never finished because she never completed a dissertation on “The English Metaphysical Romance” in 1967. She has taught at the University of British Columbia (1965), Sir George Williams University in Montreal (1967-68), the University of Alberta (1969-70), York University in Toronto (1971-72), and New York University, where she was Berg Professor of English.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  9. #19
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    ^ I suppose when she went to Harvard ...

    That would be in the 60's and I believe she taught in the US too, early 70's. Don't know if she's lived here more than that.
    Weird.

    For some reason the perspective in this story seems so immensely foreign while I do not get this feeling from Britlit or Germanlit or any of the other foreign books I've read...

    also:

    "They've found PCBs in polar bears and they are worried about the future of the polar bear species because PCBs build up in their systems and produce male sterility."

    AHAHAHAHAHA.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #20
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    And you are laughing ...why?

    "They've found PCBs in polar bears and they are worried about the future of the polar bear species because PCBs build up in their systems and produce male sterility."

    AHAHAHAHAHA.
    BBC News | Europe | Norway's androgynous polar bears

    Norway's Polar Bears Suspected Victims of PCB Contamination ...

    Polar bears hold key to understanding health risk of environmental pollutants

    Then in the 1980s and 90s, Canadian and Scandinavian scientists showed that the bodies of polar bears contained high levels of industrial pollutants. Learning more about the extent to which the bears could break down and eliminate the chemicals dovetailed with James' expertise in how the body metabolizes drugs.

    "There is no difference to the body in metabolizing a drug or a pollutant," she said. "The process is the same."

    In her research, James concentrated on five types of chemical contaminants known by the acronym POP, for persistent organic pollutants. They include compounds produced by a burning process; a compound used as a substitute for the pesticide DDT when it was banned, and which itself was subsequently banned in 2004; TCPM, an industrial compound found in the Arctic but of unknown origin and toxicity; PCP, used as a wood preservative; and PCBs, industrial chemicals used for many years in electrical applications. All of these substances, with the exception of TCPM, are regulated or banned, but they persist in the environment.

    Polar bears break down these fat-soluble chemicals in two steps, each of which makes the substances more water-soluble and therefore easier to excrete, said James. The first step, however, results in a compound that is more chemically reactive and therefore more harmful to living cells, with the potential for reproductive or neurological damage. The second phase, often slower than the first, determines how successfully the animals eliminate the toxins, she said.

    Studying liver tissue samples obtained from the bears, James found that the animals were surprisingly efficient at metabolizing one of the types of industrial chemicals studied – those produced by a burning process, which are similar to the compounds that form when meat is cooked on a grill. The other pollutants, she determined, could not be fully excreted.

    "This suggests that other species will metabolize the pollutants more slowly," said James. "When they are not sufficiently excreted the levels go up."
    EPA Bans PCB Manufacture; Phases Out Uses | EPA History | US EPA

    Some Facts About PCBs
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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