US tab

Abstract

The feminist speculative fiction novels The Female Man (1975) by Joanna Russ and The Handmaid's Tale (1986) by Margaret Atwood mirror the real world by reflecting women's experiences. Speculative fiction, an umbrella genre that includes science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism, explores our world by discussing other worlds. Themes and events in each novel's fictional world reveal aspects of today's world, and the depictions and conditions of women in the novels illuminate heterosexist norms. Specific and clear parallels can be drawn between reality and these science fiction stories, showing that the novels critique and comment on our world's treatment of women by distancing themselves through the genre of speculative fiction. In addition to examining the realist truths of our world, the authors raise awareness about these patriarchal issues and spur change in our society.

KEYWORDS: feminism, realism, speculative fiction, science fiction, Margaret Atwood, Joanna Russ, dystopia

Introduction >>