Margaret Atwood's handmaid has become a symbol of the subjugation of women. Anchorites were the medieval equivalent: women who were literally bricked up to keep them chaste.
Margaret Atwood's classic novel imagined a society where women had almost no power. Hundreds of people gathered in Sydney yesterday to hear Atwood speak about dystopias – fictional and otherwise.
Series two of the award-winning show has now moved beyond the original novel.
In the much awaited second season of the TV series, Offred is more openly defiant than she was in Margaret Atwood's novel. Still, the first two episodes remain true to the themes of Atwood's book.