The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood


A captivating illustration of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood features a dystopian world with a strong sense of foreboding.

The illustration includes the emblematic symbols of the story, such as the red cloak and white bonnet worn by the Handmaids and the stark, oppressive architecture. The overall atmosphere of the image is one of fear and suppressed rebellion.

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In The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the Commander’s and his wife’s home once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant because, in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Why you should read this book?

It would be best to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for its potent exploration of themes such as oppression, gender politics, and the consequences of totalitarianism. Here are several compelling reasons why it’s worth reading:

  • Provocative Dystopian Setting: The novel shortly serves as a thought-provoking commentary on contemporary issues related to gender, politics, and power.
  • Timely Themes: Despite being published in 1985, the book remains relevant due to its exploration of themes such as women’s rights, religious extremism, and the erosion of civil liberties. The novel’s themes resonate with contemporary discussions surrounding gender equality, reproductive rights, and the dangers of authoritarianism.
  • Haunting and Atmospheric Prose: Margaret Atwood’s writing style is both lyrical and haunting, creating a sense of unease and tension that permeates the narrative. Through vivid descriptions and evocative imagery, Atwood immerses readers in the oppressive world of Gilead, heightening the novel’s emotional impact.
  • Thoughtful Social Commentary: The novel profoundly critiques patriarchal power systems and how they oppress and control women. By examining the intersections of gender, religion, and politics, the book prompts readers to reflect on issues of agency, autonomy, and resistance in the face of oppression.
Who is Margaret Atwood?

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author renowned for her prolific literary career, which has included novels, poetry, essays, and speculative fiction. Born November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Ontario, Atwood has become one of contemporary literature’s most celebrated and influential writers.

Atwood has explored various themes throughout her career, including feminism, environmentalism, politics, and the human condition. She is perhaps best known for her dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985 and has since become a seminal work in feminist literature. The story imagines a future society where women’s rights are severely restricted, and their bodies are subject to state control.

In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood has authored numerous other acclaimed novels, including  Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake, The Blind Assassin, and The Testaments, the highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Her writing is characterized by its insightful social commentary, sharp wit, and thought-provoking exploration of complex themes.

Throughout her career, Atwood has received numerous awards and honors, including the Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Franz Kafka Prize. She is also a vocal advocate for environmental conservation and social justice issues.

Margaret Atwood’s contributions have left an indelible mark on contemporary literature, inspiring readers and writers worldwide.

Other details

Published in 1985 by McClelland and Stewart Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: English, after which it was translated into 40 languages, and over eight million copies have been sold.
Genres: Dystopian, Futuristic, Classics


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