Margaret Atwood

by Kayla Hill

Who is Margaret Atwood?

Margaret Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian author who does not specialize in one type of writing instead she writes novels as well as essays and poems. Margaret is also very well achieved and she has won a numerous amount of awards for her writings. These awards consist of Franz Kafka Prize, PEN Center USA, Man Booker Prize, and more.

Early Life

Margaret was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her father was forest entomologist and that led Margaret to spend much of her early life in the backwoods of Canada. She attended Leaside High School and graduated from 1957. Margaret evolved into a extremely good writer and began writing poems and stories. During this time Atwood was able to come to the realization that she wanted to make a career out of writing. She married another writer named Jim Polk, and they had a daughter together though they later divorced.

The Developing of a Young Writer

At the age of sixteen Atwood decided she wanted to become a writer. In effort to obtain knowledge and experience in the area of writing Margaret attended University of Toronto where she obtained her Bachelors Degree, Victoria College, Radcliffe College, and she attended Harvard University.

The Handmaid's Tale: Theme Analysis

The novel has a strong presence of the want and longing for knowledge. Throughout the novel, Atwood shows how Offred desperately desires the knowledge as well as the communication skills that she is being prohibited from possessing because of the Gilead regime. Right from the opening pages of the novel it is evident that Offred’s possesses desire for language to help her communicate and keep her identity strong. For instance, in the first chapter of the novel, Offred and the other Handmaid’s learn of each person's real names by passing messages from bed to bed because this is their only way to do so in the Rachel and Leah Center. Offred describes how “We learnt to lip read…watching each others’ mouths” (Atwood 4). This accurately relates to the theme because Offred will go to great lengths to acquire even the slightest bit of knowledge that we as people usually take for granted.

Figurative Language

In the novel, Offred compares her hope to nature; "‘hope is rising in me, like sap in a tree.,'" (Atwood 164). Offred says this phrase after she is able obtain more communication and has a conversation with Ofglen and Offred is very appreciative of the rare opportunity. Atwood in this case uses a simile comparing hope to sap in a tree.

"It pleased me that she was willing to lie for me, even in such a small thing, even for her own advantage. It was like a link between us" (Atwood 152). In this Offred is talking about how she was surprised a friend would go out the way to keep her safe and compared their bond to a link. This is an example of another simile. It is uncommon to find a trustworthy friend for women in the book because they don't have many rights.


The book, The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most successful pieces ever written by Margaret Atwood through this novel Atwood was able to her $20 million fortune. The book's adaptation to the small screen on Hulu has been another enormous success in Margaret's career. Atwood is still working with other writers to create the newest season of the show. That was nominated for an Emmy 20 times in 2018! Margaret also has written numerous amazing books, poems, and essays she is one of the many idolized writers in history.
Big picture


This picture is Margaret and a young writer whom Margaret is in the process of helping advance in the area of literature. Margaret accredits herself and other authors of her time with helping the industry become what is is; " meant that writers of my generation helped other writers. We started publishing companies, we edited one another, we launched magazines and reading series, we created institutions such as the Writers’ Union," (Margaret Atwood)

What I know Now...

Margaret is more than just another author but is an inspiration to many. Even through reading one of her books I learned a lot about the thought process that she posses. For example her dystopian view on a world where women are less than helped me see how she view feminism and reflects on her life of being a feminist.


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Feldman, Dana. “'The Handmaid's Tale' Isn't An Easy Show To Watch, But It's One Of The Most Important On TV.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 July 2018,

“Margaret Atwood on How She Came to Write The Handmaid's Tale.” Literary Hub, Anna and Elena Balbusso for The Folio Society’s Edition, 3 May 2018,

Atwood, Margaret E. “My Journey with a Young Writer – Mentor & Protégé – Medium.”, Medium, 24 Nov. 2015,

Cooke, Nathalie. “Margaret Atwood Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, Advameg, Inc.,