Anti feminist backlash in the context of the HandMaids Tale.
Write a 4-5 page essay response that fully answers the question. Your response is expected to demonstrate
your ability to think critically about the information presented to you in readings and class lectures.
This is expected to be at minimum a standard five-paragraph essay response with topic sentences, clearly
expressed ideas, and a main argument/ thesis statement. Arguments made in the body of the essay are to
be supported by evidence and examples from class readings. Your argument should take a single
position with regard to the prompt, and maintain that position throughout your essay. Maximum points
will be given for arguments that include a critical thinking extension—considering/ acknowledging
multiple perspectives and arguments while effectively maintaining your own.
And, yes, it is expected that you will use correct grammar and spelling; failing to do so will negatively
impact your grade.
You are required to analyze a minimum of three examples from the text. If you would like to include
additional source information from class lectures (i.e., films, art, slides), you may do so, but only in
addition to the three required examples from the text. In addition to class readings, you may also
include materials from outside of class lectures and readings, especially articles from newspapers and
magazines related to current events that support your argument. Please make sure these are trusted
sources. Also, do not substitute outside materials. Use of class readings is mandatory, at least 3
citations must come from class readings.
Submit Hard Copies on December 17, 2014 at 7:30p, before your final exam.
FINAL ESSAY QUESTION:
Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale is viewed by many as a critique of feminism. In the
context of the antifeminist backlash against the gains achieved by the women’s liberation movement,
many women began to question the potential implications and definition of gender equality. Additionally,
Atwood perceived that the emerging religious fundamentalist movement, combined with her perception
of women’s retreat from the ideals of the women’s liberation movement, would eventually undo the gains
made by women over the past two centuries. Atwood referred to her novel as not a warning, but a
In an essay, analyze the antifeminist backlash in the 1980s in the context of the novel The Handmaid’s
Tale. Could Atwood’s dystopia come true? Support your argument through examples from the text as
well as class lectures, and if you choose, current events in magazines or newspapers. Make sure to include
a 1 pg summary/ synopsis of the text—demonstrating that you read it—in order to set up/ contextualize
Things to consider:
How does the novel critique feminism? How does Atwood depict women’s commitment to feminism
through the many female characters she creates? What is the nature of the relationships between
women? How do they relate to each other? What tensions exist? How do men understand their role and
purpose in society?