In somewhat of an ironic turn, one year after Orwell's 1984 was assumed to have happened, Canadian writer Margaret Atwood publishes her take on the abysmal dystopic future with The Handmaid's Tale. Set in a similar hopeless world as 1984, the novel handmaids season 5 follows Offred (who's name the reader is never given) and her life as a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead.

Once a woman has committed a sexual crime (in Offred's case, she was married to a man who was divorced) she is declared a "fallen woman" who is sent to train as a concubine for a Commander (a highly-placed Party member). Only the rich are allotted Handmaids to birth them sons and daughters. Handmaids spend 2 years at each Commander's home, and if they are unable to produce an heir, they are declared barren "Unwomen" and are sent to the Colonies. Never is it considered that the male might not be the reason a Handmaid is unable to reproduce, as The Republic of Gilead believes is a male-centric totalitarian state where men are in complete control.