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Rosie The Riveter - a Real-world Connection in 'The Testaments'

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The novel called The Testaments by Margaret Atwood has been a good representation of a dystopian future due to the fact that she makes good use of history in her book to make it more realistic. In this essay, I’ll be discussing how this novel’s use of history and past precedents helps it feel more real and as if it has really happened before.

The real-world connection made by Atwood was the old propaganda photos like the Rosie the Riveter, which helped encourage women in the United States to help with the war efforts by working in factories, becomes nurses, and make clothing. As stated in The Testaments, “On the walls he had some old posters: loose lips sink ships, from a long-ago war; a woman in overalls flexing her biceps to show that women could make bombs – that was from some olden-days war…”. These references of the old World War II propaganda posters help make the novel feel more real as it basically provides evidence that the Second Great War had occurred before in their world, gives us similarity with the real world and with these reference points in the story, it makes you think about how this happened and how this could have happened to us if history wasn’t the way it is. According to History, “Rosie the Riveter was the star of a campaign aimed at recruiting female workers for defense industries during World War II, and she became perhaps the most iconic image of working women. American women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers during the war, as widespread male enlistment left gaping holes in the industrial labor force”. 

To sum up, I find it fitting and more realistic that the character named Daisy’s fake parents, who were rebels against Gilead, had this type of poster in their shop that promoted the idea that women are needed in the workforce and can do whatever men can do since Gilead doesn’t want strong, smart women and only want to enslave women for babies and sex.

Works Cited

  • Atwood, Margaret. The Testament. Nan A. Talese, 2019.
  • History. “Rosie the Riveter.”, A&E Television Networks, 23 Apr. 2010,

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