The Handmaids Tale
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Key Features: Study methods Introduction to the text Summaries with critical notes Themes and techniques Textual analysis of key passages Author biography Historical and literary background Modern and historical critical approaches Chronology Glossary of literary terms
This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.
Now a Hulu Original Series The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
Discusses the characters, plot and writing of The handmaid's tale by Margaret Atwood. Includes critical essays on the novel and a brief biography of the author.
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER Margaret Atwood's dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale, has become a modern classic—and now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel. More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets. As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes. "The literary event of the year." —The Guardian "The international literary event of the season." —Globe and Mail "It’s terrifying and exhilarating." —Judges of the Booker Prize 2019
GET READY for THE TESTAMENTS, the highly anticipated SEQUEL, by reading the BESTSELLING DYSTOPIAN NOVEL NOW AN AWARD-WINNING TV SERIES STARRING ELISABETH MOSS Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford - her assigned name, Offred, means 'of Fred'. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs. Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction. 'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it...no television event has hit such a nerve ...The Handmaid's Tale is more relevant one year after the first season' Guardian 'Don't expect to be gripped by a more potent or involving drama this year' Telegraph
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale captivates readers with its disturbingly prescient vision of the future and haunting insights into the world as we know it. Religion--especially elements of the Christian faith--pervades every inch of the world as Atwood imagines it. Gilead's leaders use perverse forms of Christianity to sustain their authority and privilege, making understanding religion an integral part of understanding Gilead. In the face of the inextricable role of religion in the novel, readers are left to puzzle out religious references and allusions on their own. From the significance of names to twisted uses of religion to the origins of the Ceremony, this book answers all the questions you might have about religion in this prophetic novel. For anyone who's ever googled a biblical precedent or religious phrase after encountering Atwood's dystopia, this essential guide explains it all and gives readers a fascinating look into the novel and its world. Read it and understand The Handmaid's Tale like never before.
This collection analyzes how their disciplines can add unique depth and context to many of the themes that are being mobilized in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and its screen adaptations. Contributors address how these themes apply to social issues and specific topics such as science and religion to the role of journalism in a democratic society.