LI578 – Studies in Late British Literature

Slip-sliding through life and not paying attention to much, the protagonist of the Hulu adaption of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale suddenly declares that she is awake—not that this does a lot of good since what was the United States is already under siege. This issue of being awake, or not, runs through much of Atwood’s works. Atwood has been an uncanny seer of our contemporary world: all that looms as potential apocalypse—climate change, shrinking economic opportunities, pharmaceutical corruption, genetic modification, gender politics, and the power of representation (the power of narrative)—surfaces in Atwood’s work. This course in its recent adaption will examine these issues as well as these questions: Is there a way out of the apocalypse, and, if so, what is it?  Why is narrative (the stories we tell) so important? It will also include the first season of Hulu’s adaption of The Handmaid’s Tale as a companion to Atwood’s novel. This course will also follow the totalitarian Gilead into Atwood’s newest novel, The Testaments.