Final Project, The Handmaid’s Tale
- Goal: Connect the surreal, dystopian world of Gilead to real issues faced by individuals and societies today or in the past.
- Role: American Lit teacher.
- Audience: Members of your American Lit class.
- Situation: An opportunity to share the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, and more importantly, its emphasis on satire and social commentary, with your class
- Product: An interactive PowerPoint (or Google Slide) presentation that you will present in a five minute presentation
Pick one of “Atwood’s Targets” (satire & social commentary points) to focus on:
- “Rapid change into extraordinary brutality from an apparently civilized society”
- A superficial and misleading focus on “family values” in oppressive societies
- A focus on indoctrinating the young in repressive regimes
- To oppress groups, oppressive leaders first dehumanize them
- Books and literacy were seen as threats in oppressive societies
- Oppression of women — e.g., requirements to be fully covered, limitations on their education
- Objectification of women, women = their bodies, women’s bodies are their most important asset
- Government through fear — brutal punishments to intimidate the population
- Rigid gender roles — each gender serves a specific, prescribed function in society
- The evils of slavery
Review your copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and find two instances of this “target” being examined, explored, satirized
Research governments or religions that contain elements of oppression or face human rights challenges (either historical or contemporary) and take notes on how this government or religion exhibits your chosen “target.” Check out these resources to get a feel for the types of sources you should be consulting:
- 5 Most Shockingly Oppressive Governments
- Facing History and Ourselves
- Where The World’s Slaves Live
- Terrorists in Love
- Freedom House — World’s Most Repressive Societies
- Human’s Rights Watch — Women’s Rights
- What Muslims Around the World Think about Women’s Rights, in Charts
- The Role of Women in Christianity: Statements by Christian Leaders & Commentators
- Iran: Seven Key Human Rights Challenges Facing President Rouhani
- 10 Facts: Literacy Rates in India
Review these resources for how to create a high quality, interactive PowerPoint.
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Presentation Zen: What is Good Presentation Design?
- 15 Strategies for Giving Oral Presentations
- Top Ten Slide Tips
Review PowerPoint or Google Slide software so you know what you’re doing, tech-wise.
Create your PowerPoint (or Google Slide) presentation connecting your research to The Handmaid’s Tale. Cite your sources.
Script the verbal part of your presentation and rehearse.