Higher English Tutor

Written by Higher English Tutor

This profile is a platform for a range of Higher-experienced English teachers to post information that will help students, and their parents, with preparing for students' Higher English exams. By following the below advice, we are confident that a student can improve their English grade, but individual motivation, perseverance and other factors must also be taken into account. This platform presents an approach to Higher English; we do not claim it is the only approach. It has worked successfully for other students.

Higher English – The Handmaid’s Tale – Understanding

A popular text for Higher English is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is a contemporary classic. Partly because the writing is skilled, partly because the issues and themes in the book were relevant in the 1980s, and still are today.

If you are studying the novel, having an understanding of the novel is crucial. This is more than just understanding the plot or the characters. It is important to understanding the main themes such as women in society, power, social class, language and others.

However, to further improve your understanding of the novel you require some background to it. Having an awareness of the author’s personal life, her society, the times in which she lived, her views on history, the genre in which she writes, society’s issues, in Margaret Atwood’s case feminism is important, any social movements of the time, all of this contributes to a deeper appreciation of the novel and its themes.

This deeper appreciation of the novel is not only interesting – it makes the novel a more satisfying read – as well as improving your ability to analyse in your essay. The more you understand a novel: the person and circumstances that gave rise to it, the better your essays on that novel will be.

For more help, sign up to myetutor.


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