The Handmaid's Tale Key Info

The time before

  • Offred falls in love with Luke, he's married, they meet up in hotel, they have a baby
  • Gilead forms through assasination of US government, women lose jobs and access to bank accounts
  • Offred and family try to run away but don't make it out
  • she doesn't know whats happened to luke
  • 1st half of novel she holds onto memories of Luke and the time before to stay sane, then in the second half she uses her affair Nick to stay sane
  • She holds onto sanity by having a relationship

Gilead is linked to the Iranian Revolution. Gilead, like many fundamentalist regimes uses religion to justify actions...

FUNDAMENTALIST THEOCRACY= DOING GOD'S WORK

The novel is considered to not only be a dystopia, but also speculative fiction, Atwood said she was just writing exactly what she saw around her in the 80's... this makes the dystopian aspect more scary and dangerous seeming as it is so close to real life.

Key context:

  • written 1985, feminist novel
  • Atwood is Canadian, gloating over USA
  • Before the 60's, mainstream feminism wasn't big
  • 60's onwards, feminism revolutionised the western world
  • the pill changed…

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