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Yet the book just does not tell me what there is in our present mores that I ought to watch out for unless I want the United States of America to become a slave state something like the Republic of Gilead whose outlines are here sketched out.Another reader, less peculiar than myself, might confess to a touch of apathy regarding credit cards (instruments of social control), but I have always been firmly against them and will go to almost any length to avoid using one.A mutant strain of syphilis appeared, and of course AIDS.
''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' had it, ''A Clockwork Orange'' had it, even ''Brave New World'' had it, though Huxley was rather short on savagery.
A standoff will have been achieved vis-a-vis the Russians, and our own country will be ruled by right-wingers and religious fundamentalists, with males restored to the traditional role of warriors and us females to our ''place'' - which, however, will have undergone subdivision into separate sectors, of wives, breeders, servants and so forth, each clothed in the appropriate uniform.
A fresh postfeminist approach to future shock, you might say.
If ''The Handmaid's Tale'' doesn't scare one, doesn't wake one up, it must be because it has no satiric bite.
The author has carefully drawn her projections from current trends.