But, of course, THT is more than simply a story. It is no secret that when Atwood wrote it in 1985, the book was a pamphlet for the culture wars—a protest against the religious right and its views on abortion, homosexuality and so on. And, given the rhetoric that surrounds this new adaptation, THT still serves that function. It appeals to the prejudices and fears of the intellectual left.
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy: even the most impassioned Bible-reader knows there is a sort of fear about having to read through these books.