The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood that was first published in 1985. Atwood envisions a totalitarian and theocratic state where women’s roles are constrained and violent oppression keeps the order in place. A sequel to The Handmaid's TaleThe Testaments, was published in 2019. Explore a character analysis of the narrator Offred, plot summary, and important quotes.


Read the concise Quick Spark summary, the detailed chapter-by-chapter Summary & Analysis, the Full Book Summary, or the Full Book Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale.


See a complete list of the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale and in-depth analyses of Offred, The Commander, Serena Joy, Moira, Luke, and Aunt Lydia.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in The Handmaid's Tale, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.


Get ready to ace your The Handmaid's Tale paper with our suggested essay topics, helpful essays about historical and literary context, a sample A+ student essay, and more.

Further Study

Go further in your study of The Handmaid's Tale with background information, movie adaptations, and links to the best resources around the web.