Preview
Preview

Offred's Narrative Technique in The Handmaid's Tale Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1915 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Offred affects every single aspect of "The Handmaid's Tale", so, in order to understand her narrative technique better, her character must also be considered.

            Offred is nostalgic, she longs for her pre-Gilead past with which she still identifies very strongly. She is, however, realistic in her longing; she knows that the past was not perfect, that it was no utopia, but she just longs for a situation preferable to her present one, "...We lived, as usual, by ignoring...". Another strong reason for to long for the past is that she was basically happy there, she had a daughter and a lover, both of which she was removed from by the Gilead regime. Her longing for the past is bittersweet, although it has many memories for her, not all of them are happy. Also, whenever she thinks of the past, she is reminded of how awful her present situation is, she is reminded of what she has lost. Perhaps that is why she refers to the past as "...the other time...".

            She is also a fighter. She is determined to survive, to "last" through Gilead, no matter what it takes. The important distinction here is between survival and rebellion; Offred will only go so far in defiance of the regime, while she is prepared to stretch the rules with an insignificant Guardian on the road into the town, she limits herself, describing it as "....a small defiance of rule....like the candy I hoarded, as a child..". When it comes to serious defiance, she draws a definite line, " "No. I can't" " she says when the doctor offers to impregnate her, "The penalty is death". Perhaps that is what Offred is really afraid of. Death is her real fear.

            In order to keep herself sane, Offred has invented several survival mechanisms, games w...


... middle of paper ...


...ve technique.

 
Works Cited and Consulted

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Anchor Books: New York, New York, 1985.

Conboy, Sheila C. "Scripted, Conscripted, and Circumscribed: Body Language in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale." Anxious Power: Reading, Writing, and Ambivalence in Narrative by Women. Eds. Carol J. Singley and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney. Albany : State U of New York P, 1993. 349-62

Fitting, Peter. "The Turn from Utopia in Recent Feminist Fiction." Feminism, Utopia, and Narrative. Eds. Libby Falk Jones and Sarah Webster Goodwin. Knoxville : U of Tennessee P, 1990. 141-158.

Garlick, Barbara. "The Handmaid's Tale: Narrative Voice and the Primacy of the Tale." Twentieth-Century Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in Twentieth-Century Mythopoeic Literature. Ed. Kath Filmer. New York : St. Martin's, 1992. 161-71.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Offred's Narrative in The Handmaid's Tale "Writing is an act of faith; I believe it's also an act of hope, the hope that things can be better than they are" MargaretAtwood Offred is an oppressed woman in the patriarchal society of Gilead. She is telling her story to an unknown reader. We learn about Offred through her own personal private thoughts....   [tags: Papers] 611 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean toxic waste. Fear is power. Fear is ever-present in Gilead; it is implemented through violence and force....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
904 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Handmaid’s Tale Essay - The Handmaid’s Tale The Handmaid’s Tale and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. draw on different narrative techniques to establish our relationship to their protagonists. Margaret Atwood allows the reader to share the thoughts of the main character, while Philip K. Dick makes the reader explore the mysteries behind the story. Atwood’s style works because she can directly show her readers what she wants. Dick’s opposing style works for him because he can present paradoxes and mysteries and let the reader form the conclusion....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale Essays] 1075 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale, written by Margaret Attwood, goes on to explore the consequences that come to be from the reversal of womens rights in a society called Gilead. It is what one can consider a cautionary tale. In the new world of Gilead, a group of conservative religious extremists have taken power, and have turned the sexual revolution upside down. The society of Gilead is founded on what is to be considered a return to traditional values, gender roles and the subjugation of women by men, and the Bible is used as the guiding principle....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1987 words
(5.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale - Interpreting The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale is distinguished by its various narrative and structural divisions. It contains four different levels of narrative time: the pre-Revolution past, the time of the Revolution itself, the Gileadean period, and the post-Gileadean period (LeBihan 100). In addition, the novel is divided into two frames, both with a first person narrative. Offred's narrative makes up the first frame, while the second frame is provided by the Historical Notes, a transcript of a lecture given by a Cambridge professor....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays] 623 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Handmaid's Tale Essay - In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean toxic waste. Fear is power. Fear is ever-present in Gilead; it is implemented through violence and force....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 4 Works Cited
964 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Offred's Struggle to Maintain Control Over Her Own Life in The Handmaid's Tale - How Effectively Does Atwood Present Offred's Struggle to Establish/Maintain Control Over Her Own Life/Identity The Handmaids Tale is a woman's autobiographical narrative that challenges the absolute authority of Gilead, highlighting the significance of story telling as an act of resistance against oppression, thereby making a particular kind of individual political statement. Such as when Offred steals the butter from the dinner table to use as hand and face cream. " There's a pat of butter on the side of the plate....   [tags: English Literature] 1160 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Offred's Narrative - What is the purpose and function of the Historical - Offred's Narrative - What is the purpose and function of the Historical Notes and how do they assist your interpretation of the novel. The historical notes are not part of Offred’s narrative, they are a transcript of a symposium held at a university in 2195 – two hundred years from where we left the end of Offred’s harrowing tale. The purpose of these notes if any, is to put Offred’s narrative into a historical purpose to help these academics understand the life of Gilead. It seems to me that another purpose of these historical notes is to provoke a very strong reaction in the readers who have followed the emotional journey with the narrator Offred....   [tags: English Literature] 2024 words
(5.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - In The Handmaid’s Tale, much use is made of imagery; to enable the reader to create a more detailed mental picture of the novel’s action and also to intensify the emotive language used. In particular, Atwood uses many images involving flowers and plants. The main symbolic image that the flowers provide is that of life; in the first chapter of the novel Offred says “…flowers: these are not to be dismissed. I am alive.” Many of the flowers Offred encounters are in or around the house where she lives; it can be suggested that this array of floral life is a substitute for the lack of human life, birth and social interaction....   [tags: essays research papers] 661 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Feminism in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - Feminism in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale In The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood explores the role that women play in society and the consequences of a countryís value system. She reveals that values held in the United States are a threat to the livelihood and status of women. As one critic writes, “the author has concluded that present social trends are dangerous to individual welfare” (Prescott 151).  The novel is set in the near future in Gilead, formerly the U.S., at a time when the population rate is rapidly declining....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]
:: 2 Works Cited
1097 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]