A gripping suspense tale, The Handmaid’s Tale is an allegory of what results from a politics based on misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism. What makes the novel so terrifying is that Gilead both is and is not the world we know.
The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
In this essay, Ketterer examines the cyclical structure and historical perspective of The Handmaid’s Tale. According to Ketterer, Atwood breaks from traditional dystopia conventions by juxtaposing present and post-dystopia contexts.
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Canadian Author Margaret Atwood’s sixth novel will remind most readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four. That can hardly be helped. Any new fictional account of how things might go horribly wrong risks comparisons either with George Orwell’s classic or with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
In the following review, Tom O’Brien cites flaws in the plausibility of Atwood’s dystopia as depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale.
Virtually from its appearance in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s futuristic novel The Handmaid’s Tale has announced its indebtedness to George Orwell’s 1984. Orwell’s nightmarish future is written all over Atwood’s similarly near-future vision of the misogynist theocracy of Gilead.
In this essay, Coral Howells discusses the presentation of female self-identity, memory, sensual experience, and Offred’s resistance to patriarchal authority in The Handmaid’s Tale
Politics, Margaret Atwood once said, means “who is entitled to do what to whom, with impunity; who profits by it; and who therefore eats what.” The Handmaid’s Tale proves that Atwood is among the most telling political writers in the West today.