The Handmaid's Tale

Emma Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
2226 Downloads (Pure)


This article discusses the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Recently made into a televised series, the book which was written in 1985, presents a dystopic/futuristic vision of an American future where women have no rights and function in terms of the wider needs of a Puritanical society, Gilead.
This book has received attention recently because of some of the parallels that can be drawn between the evangelical utterings of the current US Republican administration, and the fictional world which Atwood created over 30 years ago.
The book also however, raises a whole raft of questions which lie at the foundations of feminism: the relationships which exist between women, the role of reproduction and power, sexuality, repression and resistance.
This article will look at the key themes in the book alongside recent discussions about the lessons which can be learnt from the text and the warnings we need to heed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261
Number of pages269
JournalJournal of Gender-Based Violence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • dystopia
  • eminism
  • state violence


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