Year-End Update: What’s Next?

2017 is almost over, and with 2018 comes the end of my time in undergrad and the conclusion of my thesis. It’s scary to think about such big things coming to a close, but I think I’m ready. At the end of last semester, I re-evaluated my thesis thoughts and came up with an outline to guide myself through the bulk of writing which will happen in January and February.

My three main foci when analyzing The Handmaid’s Tale are women’s solidarity, backlash against women (historical context), and the dystopian genre as a method of communication. Basically, my focus from here on out is finding sources to support the ties I am seeing between those three topics, and writing my own original theory about the story – both the novel version and how it translates to the 2017 TV show. I think I’ll be focusing less on the TV show than I originally thought. I don’t plan on doing episode-by-episode analysis, but rather taking an overarching look about how the story has been changed to fit the context of 2017 backlash against women and women’s solidarity. That will allow me to trace the feminist message I assert Atwood is communicating through different periods of backlash and contextualize the importance of its meaning.

Right before the semester ended, I took out a ton of books from the library and also found some scholarly articles on several databases that ended up proving helpful to my analysis. This was such a relief, because I initially had trouble finding support – it just seemed like what I was specifically focused on did not have a lot of previous research or analysis done on it. Having that scholarly support is a huge comfort and also aid in finalizing my own theory. I think as long as I stick to my writing outline and set a firm schedule for myself, I should get the majority of writing done during the first month or two of the semester and then I can focus on perfecting the flow of my analysis. It finally feels like my project is coming together!