Straight from the source

Author At­wood thrills the twit­ter­verse by of­fer­ing Hand­maid’s Tale es­say help

Calgary Herald - - YOU -

TORONTO A so­cial me­dia user who turned to Twit­ter for help in writ­ing an es­say on The Hand­maid’s Tale has re­ceived in­valu­able in­sight — from none other than author Mar­garet At­wood her­self.

A Twit­ter user iden­ti­fied on­line as Mom­chil Gavrilov tweeted at the Can­Lit gi­ant early Thurs­day morn­ing with the plea: “My crazy English teacher is mak­ing us write es­says on #TheHand­maid­sTale where we are sup­posed to an­swer why @Mar­garetAt­wood put the theme of power and con­trol in the book,” they write from an ac­count with the han­dle @GavrilovMom­chil.

“We do not have telepa­thy with @Mar­garetAt­wood so I guess twit­ter is a close sec­ond... Helpppp!!!??”

At­wood re­sponded hours later from her ver­i­fied ac­count with a quick les­son on the ma­jor themes of her 1985 dystopian novel, set in a world in which women are prop­erty of the state.

“Be­cause it’s in the world,” At­wood says in a tweet posted early Thurs­day morn­ing.

“It’s not just women who are con­trolled in the book. It’s ev­ery­one ex­cept those at the top. Gilead is a theo­cratic to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism, not sim­ply a men-have-power women-donot world. Lower-sta­tus men are told when and who (to) marry, eg.”

The de­tailed re­sponse de­lighted so­cial me­dia on­look­ers, who had retweeted the ex­change more than 550 times and gave it al­most 3,000 “likes” within five hours.

At least one other lit­er­a­ture fan ap­plauded the ini­tia­tive.

“I used to teach high school. I’d have to­tally given points for proven com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the author. This is not to say that ev­ery­one should bother poor @Mar­garetAt­wood with all of their ques­tions. Oh, dear,” tweeted Jess Fara­day, with the han­dle @jess­fara­day.

At­wood is a pro­lific Twit­ter user who has not been shy about us­ing so­cial me­dia to weigh in on so­cial is­sues, pro­mote her work and favourite causes, or in­ter­act with fans.

She took an ex­tra mo­ment be­tween retweet­ing com­ments about U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and a CNN re­porter to de­fend the teacher’s as­sign­ment as a wor­thy en­deav­our.

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