Many writers have taken up the cause of feminism in their work.

To be judged, not by beauty or personality or talents, but by the ability to procreate instead.

Moore, Pamela, Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale.

At other times, she portrays feminists themselves as the powerful women they would like to be seen as, but it's always with full disclosure of their human frailty.

Many writers have taken up the cause of feminism in their work....

Yet by also highlighting the mistreatment of women in the cultures that precede and follow the Gileadean era, Margaret Atwood is suggesting that sexism and misogyny are deeply embedded in any society and that serious and deliberate attention must be given to these forms of discrimination in order to eliminate them.

Atwood individualises the character of Serena Joy, as her high status in the society demands power and the domination over the inferior members of the Commander’s household, such as Offred – a handmaid....

4, 25; 33Handmaids: their names, Janine p.

Slide Show: Drafts and newspaper clippings related to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” from the Margaret Atwood Papers, at the University of Toronto.

The 1980s brought a backlash against the feminist movement.

This novel is also one of the earliest examples of the dying earth subgenre - sci-fi that takes place towards the end of earth's existence, the end of time.

These women, including protagonist Offred, are called Handmaids.

Atwood travels frequently, and has often spent months at a time living in foreign countries, sometimes under conditions that a less flexible artist might find impossibly distracting. She started writing “The Handmaid’s Tale” on a clunky rented typewriter while on a fellowship in West Berlin, in 1984. (Orwell was on her mind.) She spent a winter in the remote English village of Blakeney, in Norfolk, where her only means of calling North America was a telephone kiosk that was usually used for storing potatoes, and where the stone-floored cottage in which she wrote was so cold that she developed chilblains on her toes. When her daughter, Jess, who was born in 1976, was eighteen months old, Atwood and her partner, the novelist Graeme Gibson, made a round-the-world trip. After winding through Europe, they visited Afghanistan—a keen student of military history, Atwood wanted to see the terrain where the British had been defeated—as well as India and Singapore. They proceeded to Australia, for the Adelaide Literary Festival, then returned to Canada, via Fiji and Hawaii. They made do with carry-on luggage the whole way. ^^

" The Handmaid's Tale: General Criticism:

This would have been in the top 5, but for Atwood's insistence that her works are speculative fiction, not science fiction, because they do not deal with things that have not been invented yet. Ok Margaret, whatever.

Margaret Atwood portrays this idea in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Gulick's master's thesis on the Atwood novel,entitled "The Handmaid's Tale: More than 1984 with Chicks." The thesisexamines the utopian, dystopian, feminist, and postmodernist traditionsassociated with the novel.