Themes of regulation/control, women, reproductive rights, feminism, gender, and expression in the the book Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


Write a four to six page, double-spaced paper with standard margins about the book Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. At a minimum, the paper must fill to the end of the 4th page with double-spaced text. Anything less may be considered too short, and will be marked down accordingly.


The topic of your paper should address core course themes of regulation/control, women, reproductive rights, feminism, gender, and expression. I do not have a specific essay question for you to answer, because I’m open to your interpretation of the text. This means you, as the reader, need to seize upon one theme of the text, and analyze it. What I mean by “analyze” is relate that theme, event, action, or character back to the main course concepts and content we cover in the lecture and other readings. Obviously this is a dystopian fiction novel, but are these events related, or do they foreshadow or satirize past events we are familiar with? Etc.

The easiest way to structure this essay is around a central argument. What are you trying to say about the book? What do you want your essay-reading-audience to understand?

Your paper may briefly summarize certain relevant parts of the text, and include support information to back up your argument. However a majority of the paper should still center upon your critical analysis and provide analysis for how Atwood’s fictional novel relates to issues of feminism and gender. Where possible, you should link the book to broader issues of feminism, gender, reproductive rights, and freedom, that relate to our GSW class.

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