Margaret Atwood Explains the Dystopia of The Handmaid's Tale

Talk about a teaser! A short video from the PBS series, The Great American Read, offers just enough information about Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale to fascinate viewers and have them reaching for the book. The author asserts she has included nothing in her dystopian novel that hasn't happened in the past and could easily happen again.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Ask those who have been watching the web series to contrast the novel and the TV drama
  • Ask groups to investigate women's reproductive rights in the U.S. and other countries
Classroom Considerations
  • One of three PBS resources focused on The Handmaid's Tale
  • Requires registration for a free PBS account to access materials
  • The web television series based on Atwood's novel was renewed in July 2019 for a fourth season
  • The novel is frequently offered as an option on the AP free response Literature and Composition exam
  • A sequel, The Testaments, was published in 2019
  • Rina Nyemah, a clinical social worker from Washing, D.C., details why The Handmaid's Tale is a must-read
  • None