Book Report To The Class On A Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood. May Want To Add More About The Themes And Take Out Some Of The Plot Description

1071 words - 4 pages

Margaret Atwood, born in Ontario in 1939, has written several books, not just The Handmaid's Tale. Her most acclaimed novels were The Edible Women, which was her first novel, and was published in 1969 to wide acclaim, and The Blind Assassin, which won Great Britain's Booker Prize for Literature in the year 2000. However, her most widely known book is The Handmaid's Tale, which was published in 1986 and quickly became a best seller. It is now a staple of high school and college reading lists.

The Handmaid's Tale is set in the near future in the fictional Republic of Gilead, which is started after "they shot the [US] president and machine gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency." Immediately after this catastrophe the Constitution was suspended, newspapers were censored or shut down, and roadblocks appeared. Soon, all women lost their jobs, their bank accounts were frozen, and they found themselves forced into what was called service, but what was practically slavery.

(Read page describing how she felt and about the "other" army)

The setting, or the Republic of Gilead, is very important in showing how and why things happened the way that they did, and why Offred, the main character, behaves, thinks, and acts the way that she does.

The Handmaid's Tale covers Offred's time with her Commander, which was less than a year. However, throughout the story, Offred has several flashbacks that reveal what happened to her in her past.

Offred was a married woman with a young daughter when the Republic of Gilead came into being. Since her husband had been divorced before marrying her, her marriage was considered void. She and her husband tried to escape into Canada, but they were caught. Her husband and child were taken away from her, and she was shipped off to a training base, where Aunts, or older teachers, taught her what her new position was to be. Since Offred was young and still able to bear children, she was given a choice: either become a "Rachel", whose basic purpose was to have a child to be raised a Commander's house, or be declared an "Unwoman" and be sent to the colonies, where "eventually, your nose falls off and your skin pulls away like rubber gloves." Naturally, she chose to become a Handmaid. After being trained (and meeting up with her old college friend, Moira), Offred is assigned to her Commander's house. Her Commander's wife, Serena Joy, is a bitter woman who wants nothing to do with her. Everyday, Offred goes into the town to shop with another Rachel. Her shopping partner, Ofglen, is a...

Find Another Essay On Book Report to the Class on A HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood. May want to add more about the themes and take out some of the plot description

Group Analysis of the Imagery, Symbolism, Figurative Language, Ironic Devices and more for "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

2709 words - 11 pages Imagery: Throughout the novel, "The Handmaid's Tale", Margaret Atwood presents an astonishing amount of vivid imagery and description that makes up the style and flow of the novel. Perhaps the first images present in the novel are that of light and dark. Listed in the table of contents, the reader can see that nearly every other...

The Hope and Hopelessness of Moira: "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood: Argumentative essay: Moira as a symbolic character of hope to the main character.

768 words - 3 pages Independence is what teenagers strive for while going through adolescence. Once achieved, this right of passage is one of the most difficult to surrender. Such strong defiance and independence is shown in Margaret Atwood's, "

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Discuss the Gileadean concept of "Freedom to, freedom from"

1318 words - 5 pages The dystopian novel, 'The Handmaid's Tale' implies the fact that there are two types of freedom, freedom to and freedom from. It is the paradox between 1980's America and Gilead that is examined continually throughout the novel and it's the ideas of 'freedom to' being a society of broad-minded morals and 'freedom from' the more controlled, restrictive society with an imposition upon individual freedom that are most prominent. In Atwood's...

The theme of power and control as demonstrated through The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

2232 words - 9 pages It is necessary for the government to impose a certain amount of power and control on its citizens in order for a society to function properly. However, too much power and control in a society eliminates the freedom of the residents, forbidding them to live an ordinary life. In the dystopic futuristic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret...

Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

932 words - 4 pages Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Offred recounts the story of her life and that of others in Gilead, but she does not do so alone. The symbolic meanings found in the dress code of the women, the names/titles of characters, the absence of the mirror, and the smell and hunger imagery aid her in telling of the repugnant conditions in the Republic of Gilead. The...

The Handmaid's Tale: A Reflection of the Past and Warnings for Future Generations Author: Margaret Atwood

6272 words - 25 pages Throughout history women have always been seen as inferior to men; they are stereotyped to be weaker, slower, and less intelligent. However, over time, women have fought for their rights, for their turn to speak, and for an equal society where landing a job is based on your resume and not your sex. Nowadays, women are seen as equals - doing what men can do, achieving what every man thought women could not, and some even surpassing men by...

Heros in Gilgamesh by David Ferry and Offred The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

961 words - 4 pages What is a hero? In mythology and legend, a hero, is often of godly ancestry, who is gifted with great courage and strength, distinguished for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Or, a hero can be a person noted for feats of courage, mainly one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Finally, a hero can simply be the main character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. There are many different types of heroes. This paper...

The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

793 words - 3 pages The Presentation of the Commander in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The commander can be seen as a man torn between two worlds, he was one of the founders of Gilead yet still enjoys and yearns for the pleasures of the old society he managed to break. It can be seen as ' he has made his bed and now he must sleep in it'. The commander is cool and collected on the surface but underneath he is bitter and corrupted...

How are the main characters in "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood constructed to represent the text's underlying values and attitudes?

1514 words - 6 pages Fictional writing is rarely a neutral account; typically, characters are constructed to express a particular viewpoint. How are the main characters in "The Handmaid's Tale" by

An Argument on whether or not The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood should be banned- Pro Dystopia

2835 words - 11 pages Pro Dystopia"I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting" (122). This is the desire of Margaret Atwood's central character Offred in The Handmaid's Tale. The novel is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead which is formally the United States of America. Placing the blame on Islamic fanatics, a right-wing extremist movement guns down the president along with the congress, and takes total...

The Handmaid's Tale - by Margaret Atwood Prompt: Compare how different characters in the novel adapt to life under the new regime. (full title below)

668 words - 3 pages We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it." Compare how different characters in the novel adapt to life under the new regime."The Handmaid's Tale" is a novel by Canadian poet, Margaret Atwood. This book illustrates a dystopian society where men are represented as powerful and...

Similar Essays

"The Handmaid's Tale" By Margaret Atwood.

1764 words - 7 pages Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Toronto: McClelland-Stewart, 1985, Seal Books edition 1998In "The Handmaid's Tale" one of the main themes is the influence of government. All areas of peoples' lives are controlled by the government, which is a totalitarian regime. The government in Gilead rules with the political concept...

"The Handmaid's Tale" By Margaret Atwood.

1528 words - 6 pages English LiteratureThe Handmaids TaleWill society ever reach a point where it is considered the 'natural norm' by all, and therefore unable to undergo further change? It is impossible to...

The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

623 words - 2 pages In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, our eyes are open to an oppressive society of which seems to be the near future. Widespread sterility has led to the rich controlling young women of childbearing age, who are called “handmaidens”. The tale is narrated by Kate, also known as “Offred”, her handmaid name. She relates her struggle throughout in the most vivid of ways. The struggle around her: the oppressive Republic of Gilead, and the...

The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

661 words - 3 pages In The Handmaid’s Tale, much use is made of imagery; to enable the reader to create a more detailed mental picture of the novel’s action and also to intensify the emotive language used. In particular, Atwood uses many images involving flowers and plants. The main symbolic image that the flowers provide is that of life; in the first chapter of the novel Offred says “…flowers: these are not to be dismissed. I am alive.” Many of the flowers Offred...