Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Vanessa Corredera


Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and the Hulu award-winning televisual adaptation (2017-Present) portray a dystopic, theocratic regime known as Gilead. The regime’s focus on female bodies and reproduction exemplifies what feminist theorists call rape culture, a culture Gilead perpetuates through sexual violence, rape, and surveillance. Using critical race theory, media and close-textual analysis this project examines both works, arguing that complicity within the novel must be discussed in relation to rape culture and that while the series accounts for rape culture, it problematically manifests a type of feminism that privileges white women over women of color.

Subject Area

Atwood, Margaret, 1939- . Handmaid's tale; Rape in literature; Blame