World Literatures in English
The Handmaid's Tale

NY: Fawcett Crest Book, Ballantine 1985

Margaret Atwood

  Margaret Atwood
on the first 50 pages (lecture outline)
  Plot Summary; Epigraphs
  The novel as a whole
Study Guide to The Handmaid's Tale (remote)
              A study guide prepared by Paul Brians of Washington State University
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Image from Maclean's Sept. 23, 1996


  1. What does Atwood want to satirize through the imaginary nation, Gilead?
  2. How does the narrator, Offred, re-construct her identity after she is reduced to just the role of being a handmaid?  What does she remember?

The Handmaid's Tale: General Criticism:
  1. How does the handmaid resist?  Is she passive?  e.g. Not actively involved in May Day underground group, loves hand cream, Vogue, Sleeps with both the Commander and Nick, the ending.  -- from Margaret Atwood Revisited by Karen F. Stein

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