The Handmaid's Tale  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985. The novel explores themes of women in subjugation, and the various means by which they gain agency, against a backdrop of the establishment of a totalitarian theocratic state. Sumptuary laws (dress codes) play a key role in imposing social control within the new society.

The novel is often studied by high school and college students. The American Library Association lists it in "10 Most Challenged Books of 1999" and as number 37 on the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000" due to many complaints from parents of pupils regarding the novel's anti-religious content and sexual references.

A 1990 film adaptation was directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It starred Natasha Richardson (Offred), Faye Dunaway (Serena Joy), Robert Duvall (Fred), Aidan Quinn (Nick), and Elizabeth McGovern (Moira).

The book coined the term "unwoman" to refer to the label given to sterile, feminist, or politically deviant women.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Handmaid's Tale" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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