The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: examining its utopian, dystopian, feminist and postmodernist traditions
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Nineteen eighty-four, it seems, was a banner year for authors of dystopian literature. The world anxiously waited to evaluate the accuracy of a vision of the "perfect society" gone awry that had been described by George Orwell in perhaps his best-known work, And at the time that we looked for examples of Orwellian prophecy come true in our own societies, Margaret Atwood was writing a text that was arguably to take over where 1984 left off. Atwood's ~ Handmaid's Tale. itself an example of dystopian fiction focusing on physical and spiritual oppression, media manipulation, and the control of human thought as necessary governing mechanisms of society, has often been compared to Orwell's 1984.