The Handmaid's Tale | Critical Essay by David Ketterer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 29 pages of analysis & critique of The Handmaid's Tale.
This section contains 3,651 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Coral Ann Howells

Critical Essay by David Ketterer

SOURCE: “Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: A Contextual Dystopia,” in Science-Fiction Studies, Vol. 16, Part 2, July, 1989, pp. 209-17.

In the following essay, Ketterer examines the cyclical structure and historical perspective of The Handmaid's Tale. According to Ketterer, Atwood breaks from traditional dystopia conventions by juxtaposing present and post-dystopia contexts.

Until recently Margaret Atwood's interest in SF and fantasy has found only incidental expression in her creative work. At the conclusion of Lady Oracle (1976), the narrator, a writer of “Costume Gothics,” reflects: “maybe I'll try some science fiction. The future doesn't appeal to me as much as the past, but I'm sure it's better for you.” Atwood herself has since tried some SF, most notably The Handmaid's Tale (1985), which was nominated for the Ritz-Paris Hemingway Prize in France, shortlisted for...

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This section contains 3,651 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Coral Ann Howells