3690: A Journal of First-Year Student Research Writing

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Overview: One of the most terrifying aspects of Margaret Atwood’s dark, dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is that the author was inspired by true events. In an interview, Atwood discussed how her writing was heavily inspired by America’s Puritan roots, that is, a society where their laws and gender roles were entirely constructed by rigid religious commandments (Bacci 154). The Handmaid's Tale pulls ideas from the modern patriarchy and sexist culture of America, as well as its roots in Puritanism, to create a dystopia that is void of human rights and entirely androcentric. In this way, Atwood’s novel serves as a warning and an awakening for the modern public, encouraging them to value and protect their human rights. The Handmaid’s Tale provides a chilling insight into the United States sexist foundation that is reflected in modern society today. Modern-day America is still influenced by its founding Puritan ideals and that these partially toxic influences have shaped American culture, especially western gender stereotypes and culture-wide androcentrism. Although the novel is an extremist interpretation, it reminds citizens to continue to explore and understand their inalienable human rights.

Author's reflection: My name is Theresa VanWormer and I am an English Major with Minors in Marketing and Communication at St. John Fisher College. Reading and writing has always been an interest of mine, leading me to be a managing editor for the creative writing magazine ANGLES and a writing tutor on campus. I am also the author of “Understanding the Importance of Statues: Symbols of Racism in Modern Society” which was published in the spring 21 edition of The Review. In the Spring of 2022 I will be interning with BOA Publications and hopefully beginning to work on my own creative writing. One day, I hope to write and own my own business as a developmental editor. In my free time I enjoy weight lifting and spending time with my friends and family. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and appreciative of Dr. Uman who led me towards this topic that is so very important to talk about.

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