Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Joseph R. Zompetti


This thesis examines the first season of the television show The Handmaid’s Tale, in order to better understand why the program has resonated in this historical moment to the extent that political activists use costumes from the show in their protests. I applied McGee’s (1980) ideograph theory in combination with a feminist lens to identify and explore five prominent symbols in the show. One ideograph in particular, , is especially dynamic in that it transforms from a marker of oppression to one of solidarity. I argue that the ideographs, which are highly gendered and mainly visual in nature, give The Handmaid’s Tale its power to transcend the screen and become a rallying cry for many women who see the Trump presidency as a threat to their rights.


Imported from ProQuest Wozniak_ilstu_0092N_11646.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Communication Commons