How does The Handmaid's Tale use imagined worlds to present a warning for the future based on the social, cultural, and historical values of its time?

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The Handmaid's Tale is rooted in the cultural and social realities of the 1980s United States as well as the realities of America during the era of plantation slavery. The 1980s saw a significant growth in right-wing sentiment in mainstream American society as well as in policies practices put forth by racist, misogynistic lawmakers and political leaders. Reproductive rights were significantly under attack, and the social strides made during the feminism of the 1960s and 1970s were also under threat.

In regard to its historical parallels, The Handmaid's Tale reflects the horrific reality of enslaved black women, perhaps unconsciously. The novel has been heavily criticized for a lack of awareness to the fact that the events it depicts were the actual reality of enslaved black women who were forced to bear the children of their white owners (almost entirely through having been raped by white men). The Handmaid's Tale is often seen as a warning for a dystopian future, but it could have been much...

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