Sunday, 17 February 2013

Literary Perspectives on the Individual - Part 1: Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale

Dear All,

What happens when individuals when they are put into a totalitarian political system in which ideology (in this case, the christian religion) is used to reduce women to their wombs? Please explore this question and other issues further in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale.

Some material you might find useful in this context:

* Definition of Dystopia (from: Read * Write * Think):

* Handmaid's Tale - movie version: 

* Selected Interviews with Margaret Atwood:

* Selected Video Projects about the Handmaid's Tale

Please also read Margaret Atwood's short literary essay, "The Female Body" in this context:

... as well as her poem "Spelling":

I hope you find the novel as well as the additional material interesting!



  1. Hi, Felix here. First comment (:.
    So Handmaid`s tale was a feminist version of Nineteen Eighty Four as far as I could tell. I think that 1984 was a bit more dark and hopeless though, in Handmaid`s tale there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel but in 1984 things just got worse and we were left hopeless at the end.

  2. Second person here!!

    in my opinion, the Handmaids' Tale has clearly express the loss of freedom and loss of identity, self-estems in general. The totalitarian with the influences of religion has claimed its ultimate power and put its restriction upon the woman. This situation also remind me of the stages of woman of the east in the ancient times when their life seemed t be in darkness and they had no hope that one day they could escape from such hell

  3. The Handmaids'Tale is Dystopian fiction style that shows about the bad of social. I guess that the women are "object", no freedom, do not allow to read the book, to work, etc. (Not human being -> That is so trouble). This book also shows to divide social class with the color of clothing.

  4. In my opinion, the social in Handmaid Tale try to use religion and political to control people, especially women. Also, it also use these perspectives as their defence for cruel acts. And i also think it's not only happens in novel but in any totalitarian society.

  5. A woman is an unavoidable part of the universe. In fact, she is that part which the world cannot exist without for she has the privilege to be able to bear children. Women have been objectified in "The Handmaid's Tale". The women portrayed are just commodities to bear children and not another life. The life of a woman is far beyond identities just in the colors of clothing and the womb.