Teacher Guide

The Handmaid's Tale Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale was the first break-out novelistic success of the now-legendary author Margaret Atwood. First published in 1985, this dystopian novel of an oppressive religious regime tackles issues of bodily autonomy, reproductive control, and individual rights. Though the book is often hailed as a classic of feminist literature and the science fiction genre, Atwood insists it is neither, and has tried to distance the novel from categorization.

The book tells the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead (formerly the United States). She lives in a fundamentalist Christian society, highly stratified, and lives in the Commander's household with the sole purpose of...

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