7.10.2017

The unexpected juxtaposition of two books

The last book I read was The Handmaid's Tale.  I enjoyed it, but decided not to write a review because as I read through the reviews on Goodreads, I didn't think there was anything else I could add.

The day after I finished that book, I started listening to the audio version of Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, which is read by Trevor, and which I am thoroughly enjoying.  What keeps hitting me, though, are the similarities between the two books.

The Handmaid's Tale is a fictional account about the subjugation of women by white men (this was true in the book--I've seen the first two episodes of the Hulu show and they seem to have taken race out of the equation).  In Born a Crime, Trevor describes the real-life subjugation of black and colored (mixed-race) people by white people under apartheid in South Africa.  A true story that's not too distant in our past.  (Trevor was born under apartheid in 1984.)  That just blows my mind.

There's a lot of discussion in both books about how the men in power separate groups and maintain control over them.  In The Handmaid's Tale, the women were not allowed to read or talk with each other for fear of the women spreading ideas of uprising.  In South Africa under apartheid, black people weren't supposed to learn languages outside of their own tribe's.  Those in power had to keep the various tribes separate and apart.  It's strange to read these things back to back and it's  disheartening to think of how badly those in power can treat people in order to maintain that power.  And of all of these thoughts are happening in my head in the midst of today's political landscape where they're trying to kick millions and millions of people of health insurance.  

Sigh.  So, that's what been on my mind for a few days.  I'll do a proper review of Trevor's book when I'm done.  For now I can say it's quite educational and thankfully, also quite funny.  I can use the laughs.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

damn. i quit my audioble subscription before getting a chance to download this one. i'll get to it one day tho. ;)