Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Margaret Atwood's When It Happens. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
When It Happens: Introduction
When It Happens: Plot Summary
When It Happens: Detailed Summary & Analysis
When It Happens: Themes
When It Happens: Quotes
When It Happens: Characters
When It Happens: Symbols
When It Happens: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Margaret Atwood
Historical Context of When It Happens
Other Books Related to When It Happens
- Full Title: When It Happens
- When Written: 1977
- Where Written: Ontario, Canada
- When Published: 1977
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Short Story, Realism, Dystopian Fiction
- Setting: A farm in an unspecified location
- Climax: Mrs. Burridge imagines an apocalyptic scenario where she is pointing a gun at two threatening men.
- Point of View: Third Person
Extra Credit for When It Happens
Dancing Girls. “When It Happens” was originally published as part of Atwood’s first short story collection titled Dancing Girls.
The Booker Prize. Margaret Atwood is one of only five authors to win the Booker Prize twice. Her first win came in 2000 for the novel The Blind Assassin and the second came in 2019 for The Testaments.