The 2021 „Storming of the United States Capitol“ by the Trump mob eerily reminds some people to a fictitous attack on the US Congress in Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
In the aforementioned novel, originally published in 1985, conspirators stormed Congress, killing the President of the United States and Congressmen.
The military coup was devised by the conspiracy group Jacob’s Sons, which operated within the army.
The Handmaid’s Tale is based on the premise that an American Taliban—a presumably Christian cult that espouses biblical fundamentalism without ever mentioning Jesus—could infiltrate the United States military enough to seize power after a coup.
It also assumes that most Americans could quickly adjust to a “new normal” in which heretics and gays are publicly hanged while women are forbidden to work, own property, or read.
Atwood’s 1985 novel itself was partly inspired by the rise of the Christian right in the United States in the 1980s.
It provides keen insights into the realities of totalitarianism, nuanced character dynamics, a sympathetic everywoman heroine struggling to survive under horrific oppression.
For beleaguered feminists and other progressives in Trump’s America, The Handmaid’s Tale became both a symbol of oppression and a call to arms for the female-led Resistance.
In the second season of a television series created by Bruce Miller, which moved past Atwood’s material, the show itself began playing to such parallels with ripped-from-the-headlines themes—from evil Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (here working to keep people in, not out) to attacks on the press (seen in grisly traces of a massacre at the abandoned Boston Globe building).
Event the author Margaret Atwood drew parallels between Trump’s America and her novel when accepting her award in New York in 2018.
“The repressive regime of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ did not last — there was a resistance,” Atwood said in her speech.
“It was ultimately successful because people did retain, in their hearts, the idea of what a free and fair society — a society rooted in truth and justice — ought to be like. Let us hope that this part of my fictional future does come true.”
The fact that pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in a similar fashion Atwood described in her novel just adds to the growing list of comparison between Handmaid’s Tale and Trump’s America.