Narrative Style In The Handmaid's Tale

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Rikio Asakura Literature Higher Level Word Count: The Handmaid’s Tale Essay Task Offred states ‘I’m sorry there is so much pain in this story. I’m sorry it’s in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force. But there’s nothing I can do to change it.’ Discuss Atwood’s narrative style and evaluate its effectiveness in terms of a contemporary audience’s reception of the novel: Much that confronts readers in Atwood’s science fiction tale of dystopian future is likely to be unfamiliar. Readers have entered into a time and place where normal institutions, relationships, and social structures have been rendered strange and unrecognizable in comparison to the real society. One of the ways in which Atwood help…show more content…
Readers see Gilead as Offred sees it, so we interpret it in the same way as she interprets it so we can only know and experience the things in which Offred can recall. From a dramatic or plot standpoint, we only discover the narrator's past and the significant events that led up to the foundation of the Republic of Gilead as Offred reveals them. Readers would have to trust the narrator about Gilead and what happens to her. At the same time, that trust is continually undermined by her comments about how she wishes she could change the direction of her story and admissions about how she has changed it. (advantages and limitations) of first person narration Through “It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances” (134), Atwood makes it clear to readers that the novel - as are all novels - is a construct. The Handmaid’s Tale was constructed in the sense that all the narrator’s internal thoughts were channelled in the form of stream of consciousness. For instance, this could be seen through non-chronological flashbacks throughout the novel. (advantages and limitations) of stream of
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