A Comprehensive Essay On The Handmaids Tale Literature Essay

1942 words - 8 pages

Literature Essay
Context is a major influence in the construction of texts, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood was written in 1985 so the context of the time is reflected in the novel. Personal and social context are critical when writing a novel and Atwood’s views and beliefs are shared in the novel. Atwood is a feminist and environmentalist and she gives a warning to the future to what could happen in the worst case scenario. Many movements and situations occurred in the 1980’s and these all would’ve played a part in the construction of the text. The cold war was reaching its climax and sexually transmitted infections were on the rise. At the time the novel was written Ronald Reagan was president of America and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of England. This was a time of conservative parties in control in the western world. The Religious groups of the time had gained more influence due to this, and women’s rights were feared to be taken away again. The Handmaids Tale is based on these events and Atwood uses the text as a warning to the future.
Margaret Atwood’s personal context was important in the construction of the novel The Handmaids Tale. Atwood is Canadian and she is a very well educated women. Her views and beliefs are present in the novel and her context also is shown. In the Novel, Canada is seen as a safe Haven for the people of Gilead and the place where all the people are trying to escape to. This is not a coincidence but Margaret Atwood’s context influenced her decision to make Canada to be a safe zone and a place where there is still hope for the people of Gilead. In Canada Atwood attended the University of Toronto, Atwood is well educated and also attended Harvard and Radcliffe University. She taught at many Universities also and her love of education is reflected in the novel as Harvard University is a prominent setting in the novel. The School is used as a headquarters for ‘The Eyes’ and it is also used as a prison. This is ironic as University is usually where people go to find themselves and have the freedom to choose their own futures and where knowledge is obtained, is where the women are being held as prisoners and oppressed, and also they are forbidden from reading the books. Atwood views on knowledge and education are present in the novel, the Library where knowledge is contained is treated like it is a temple. Margaret Atwood’s personal context has a major influence in the construction of the novel The Handmaids Tale.
Margaret Atwood was Canadian and born in Ottawa, Ontario and was very environmentally aware. Atwood grew up with a passion for the environment which can mostly be attributed to her father who was an entomologist. The environment was important to her and she has lived in many in many countries and experienced many different environments. In the novel there has been a nuclear war and the environment is damaged because of this. Atwood is serving a warning to what could happen in the future if the...

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