Life in America: The Reagan Years, A Webography

Web Resources for Teachers and Students of The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 16

Summary: Charlotte Templin, a writer from the Salem Press, gives a detailed description of the book The Handmaid’s Tale, including a summary of the principal characters and the book as a whole.  Templin gives a critical evaluation of The Handmaid’s Tale including both Atwood’s opinions bestowed and her own analysis of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Templin focuses on the whole book and makes some comparisons between America at the time and the society of Gilead before it was taken over.

Evaluation: This article was found from the Ebsco library host provided by the Bowling Green State University. The Ebsco host “serves thousands of libraries and other institutions with premium content in every subject area” making it a very refutable source for information. All sources are cited and the article was published in November 2010, making it a current article to receive information from. The purpose of this article is very clearly to provide factual information regarding the book The Handmaid’s Tale.

Review of The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 16

Summary: Kathleen Cameron, a professor at Pittsburg State University, reviewed TheHandmaid’s Tale including a brief summary and “offers a myriad of themes for pedagogy.”  One of these themes offered by Kathleen was women as sexual temptresses. Kathleen relates The Handmaid’s Tale to both other societies of today like Iraq and even back to the US today (2008).  The review includes several different reviews of The Handmaid's Tale over the years and is an overall useful tool to better understanding The Handmaid’s Tale.

Evaluation: Sponsored by the University of Maryland, this is a refutable article and current article (2008). The article is cited through a works cited page at the end of the article. The purpose of this article is to offer factual information with some opinion. However, it is obvious Kathleen Cameron has a vast source of knowledge on TheHandmaid’s Tale.

Seeing Tomorrow In Today

Score: 14

Summary: Tali Zivs, a student doing her Senior Grad folio Context paper Seeing Tomorrow in Today, offers a context of how many of the issues that were warned about by Margart Atwood in the book the Handmaid’s Tale, are still being used in our society still in the 2004 presidential election.  Some the issues mentioned by Zivs from the Handmaid’s Tale werehHHH pollution, environmental concerns, right-wing fundamentalists as well as religion. Zivs then relates these issues to some of the policies of America today (2004). Talus also explains how Regan looked at these issues and what he did about the books many warnings.  Overall Tali helps one to relate a book written in 1986 back to the present.

Evaluation: Although the .pdf hasn’t been revised since its creation in 2005, the information is still valid because Tali just relates her information to the early 2000s or back to the 1980s. The page is .org and is sponsored by the Beacon School and resources are cited where needed. The purpose of this paper is definitely to support scholarly research and original and critical thinking and is a great resource for teachers and students to think about how The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t so far away from what they know now.

Book Review of The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 13

Summary: McCarthy article offers a book review of The Handmaid’s Tale. McCarthy, a book writer herself and the new Stevenson Chair of Literature at Bard college, explains the significance of a female based society, the system of color matching the purpose of an individual, the problem of infertility within the society, and the significance of men being virtually powerless in the household even though the commander is the “high bureaucracy of the regime.”

Evaluation: The page is sponsored by the refutable business, the New York Times. Although there is only a general indication of citing, the article is still good because all the details check out to be accurate for the time period. Even though the page was created in 1986, the book was created in 1985 so this offers a good context for how the book was viewed when it was first published. This article offers some opinion by the author, the overall article however seems to be valid and her insight offers a different way of looking at The Handmaid’s Tale.

Study Guide to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 13

Summary: Sponsored by Washington State University, this study guide suggests a context for readers about the era surrounding the book The Handmaid’s Tale and how this era affected aspects of the book.  Brian’s, an expert in English at Washington State University, provides a list of questions from different chapters of the Handmaid’s Tale that can be used to help teachers and students to ask their students or themselves quality questions about what was happening in each chapter and how this can be related to the time period and the rest of the novel. Brian’s also provides a brief summary and analysis of one of the epigraphs as well as the historical notes at the end of the book.

Evaluation: Although this website hasn’t been revised since 2004, it is still relevant because the book the Handmaid’s Tale was written in 1985.  The purpose of the site is to provide a credible source for teachers and student’s that will help them to better understand the Handmaid’s Tale. Although the book is only cited once throughout the work, it isn’t important because the entire website is cited from the Handmaid’s Tale.

The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 12

Summary: Barbara Kitt, a professor of Linfield college, wrote a .doc that takes several different components of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and pulls them all together that allows the document to become a useful resource for students and teachers. Some of the different aspects of the document include a thorough evaluation of each character and their status in the organization of Gilead. She relates The Handmaid’s Tale back to social issues of the present day. Barbara also offers themes for the book. She also discusses Atwood’s techniques and literary precedents used in The Handmaid’s Tale as well as related titles and adaptions of The Handmaid’s Tale. She gives some useful tips for group discussions and questions regarding The Handmaid’s Tale.

Evaluation: Although there is no date on the site, the document appears to be fairly recent and since the book was created in 1985. The purpose of this document is obviously to support scholarly research. The website is also sponsored by a fairly unknown organization, Bengal English, but seems like a refutable source of information and was written by a refutable professor.

Language and Power in The Handmaid's Tale and the World

Score: 12

Summary: This site has a lesson plan that can be used to show examples of neologisms, Biblical language, and Offred’s unique language. The lesson plan is broken down into two days of class and handouts for the teachers and students in examining The Handmaid’s Tale. Each handout also has a group activity that can be used to better understand The Handmaid’s Tale and has questions that relate back to the topics discussed on that day. The site also offers some other links to more information on The Handmaid’s Tale and other resources that can be used.

Evaluation: Although this site has no author, it is published by, a well-known organization that’s mission is to “provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to high quality practices in reading and language arts instruction.” The handouts were created in 2009 so is a recent source of information. The purpose of this site is to support scholarly research and the production of student’s original thinking.

The Handmaid's  Tale  @ Luminarium

Score: 12

Summary: This web page by Anniina Jokinen offers a wide variety of resources for teachers and students in deciphering the Handmaid’s Tale. She includes several book reviews from refutable newspapers like the New York Times and Time Magazine. There is also 3 interviews by Atwood about the Handmaid’s Tale.  Another resource is there are several essays relating to the Handmaid’s Tale included as well as study guides and notes on the Handmaid’s Tale. There is also another list of books that would help one better understand the Handmaid’s Tale.   

Evaluation: The author’s credentials are completely provided on her homepage of the website. Although the page is hosted by an unknown organization, the website is consulted by several different reference works to check for validity. Most sources for the page are cited. The site hasn’t been created within the last 3 years; however the site was updated 4 years ago so the data is still very relevant. The domain of the website is .org, but isn’t a well-known organization and isn’t checked over by a refutable subject directory. The purpose of the website is to offer factual information, but the website is still an overall useful site for resources regarding the Handmaid’s Tale.

AQA AS Level English Literature Activities and Exam Practice: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

Score: 11

Summary: Alam offers a guide for students taking the AQA AS Level English Literature Exam. The exam practice focuses on Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. The practice explains how to decipher some of the language that Atwood uses in her book by deciphering how language is used, how the book is structured, how the language is chosen, and how this language shapes the book. Alam also talks about two recurring themes of the book: the color red and flowers. He explains there significance throughout the book. He then suggests some activities the student can do to prepare for this test and better understand the significance of these themes. 

Evaluation: Although the only credentials known about H. Alam is that he is an experienced teacher, his writing is checked over by other teachers and the board to make sure it’s tailored towards the exam. This site is sponsored by the co-operative in the UK and is therefore “committed to providing resources to the educational community and to co-operative principles.” Even though, the sources are cited only from a general reference, the pdf is still valid because the information all comes directly from the book the Handmaid’s Tale. There is no date on the webpage, but one can tell the information is up to date and is reliable because these practice tests are fairly recent because the website was just created in 2004 so the information wouldn’t be older than that. The site is posted by a refutable business the Q&A Resources Ltd, where the members of this company have a back ground in teaching and educational publishing. One of the purposes of the site is to “supply teachers with materials they need to help students understand their subject to the best of their ability.”

Faith and Reason: Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis

Score: 11

Summary: PBS, a nonprofit public broadcasting television service and Bill Moyers conducted an interview with Margaret Atwood on Faith and Reason. During Bill Moyers interview, Atwood shows her perspective on faith and reason and how this affects The Handmaid’s Tale.  Atwood relates her book to the Salem Witch Trials and to the more obvious fundamentalist beliefs as well as relating to the more recent Patriot Act. Another interesting point brought about in the interview is how Atwood is agnostic and how this relates back to The Handmaid’s Tale.

Evaluation: This is a refutable website and the author’s credentials although not all known should be respectable due to him conducting an interview for PBS. Sources aren’t cited however there isn’t really anything to cite other than Margaret Atwood. The purpose of this interview was to support scholarly research and to see the biasness of Margaret Atwood’s biases. Although the interview was conducted July 8th, 2006 the information is still relevant to Margaret Atwood today. Overall this was a useful source for context about Margaret Atwood and her views about religion.

Content created by Tiffany Alexander.