The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood is a novel that brings forth cli-fi, religion, and the ugly truths about prostitution, class and corporations. The novel itself is about a religious group called the gardeners who are aware of an impending “waterless flood” about to take place. The gardeners find peace in living a simple life with no meat, they only wear recycled clothes, and believe in their faith more than anything else. They are founded on the fact that they believe the human race has strayed away from what God originally set out for us, and with the world being run by less than moral corporations that’s not exactly not true. What I really enjoyed most bout this book were the flash backs. It really surprised me that a lot of people found it really hard to follow and even thought that the flashbacks weren’t important to the story. The flashbacks, for me, gave the context for everything that was going on. They explained why things were the way they were at this present moment in time, and even showed us a different side of the characters. One of the most interesting things about the books for me were the elements of prostitution and corporations that seem to go hand in hand with these dystopian societies. The fact that both girls were stuck in opposite sides of the spectrum with one being stuck in a high end day spa while the other is stuck in the “cleaning room” of a strip and prostitute club where the girls would go to get tested for STI’s. I thought it was really interesting how Atwood showed these two sides in great detail and how they definitely relate to the actual struggles that some girls go through today. Maybe not the being stuck in the room parts, but definitely the high class and low class “doing-what-needs-to-be-done” work ethic. What really is different is you’d think it would be Ren who would have this deep hatred for the corporations because she’s in the current situation she’s in but its actually Toby. Toby’s whole entire life has been abandoned because her father shot himself with a rifleā€¦and she couldn’t even report it because the blame of having any firearm at all would fall back on her. So she’s stuck abandoning her entire identity and going underground all for the sake of staying alive. Just when you think things can’t possibly get worse for her, she gets a job and falls under the eye of a her manager who happens to be a sexual predator. He objectifies women and turns them into his own personal sex slave just for the thrill of it. The importance of class is all too relevant when we see how there are definitively two different types of people, those who live in the corporate compounds and those who find refuge in the slums. The corporations run the world like a drug cartel, and if you cross them or get in the way of their agenda you will probably find yourself dead in a ditch somewhere. At the end of the book we can see how Toby starts to see through this, and how she notices that only the few, the privileged are reaping the benefits. Atwood does a great job of bringing in a serious problem into a book that at first glance is just about climate change. I think this book is a lot more than what it looks like on the surface, with so many back stories and other things going on that makes it turn into one cohesive work about many major social problems.

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