Exploring Gilead Across Media: An Analysis of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments as Transmedia Storytelling
Lugt, S. van der
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Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, originally published in 1985, has received renewed attention since the release of a successful television adaptation by Hulu, and now, 34 years after the original, Atwood has written a sequel. The Testaments was published in September 2019, and takes place roughly sixteen years after the events in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. What is remarkable about The Testaments, is that it contains characters and refers to events that did not appear in the novel from 1985 but were invented by Hulu. This thesis investigates this unique relationship between original, adaptation, and sequel. By using Henry Jenkins's theory of transmedia storytelling, it analyses how The Testaments contributes to the story world of Gilead. It is argued that The Testaments is primarily aimed at readers who have seen Hulu’s adaptation, though it does not exclude readers who are not familiar with the television series.