The Blind Assassin By Margaret Atwood Essay

The Blind Assassin By Margaret Atwood Essay

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In her novel, The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood leads us into the lives of Iris and Laura Chase, who are the descendants of a rich and influential Ontario family. The story is told through Iris’ perspective and as it goes on, we are introduced to all of the Chase family including Iris and Laura’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Norval Chase. The novel focuses primarily on the relationship dynamics among the Chase family and specifically emphasizes on Laura and Iris’s relationship. Almost immediately, the reader is inclined to believe that Iris is the heroine of the story, until we learn that Iris has committed several atrocities against her sister and husband. Although Iris quickly turns into the villain, the reader cannot help but sympathize with her, as we know that she was “sold” into her marriage and she was also a victim of her husband’s actions. We would describe Iris as the anti-hero of the novel, however if we actually analyzed what the actual definition of an anti-hero is we would see that another character fulfills this characterization much better. An anti-hero is a central character that completely lacks heroic qualities or attributes, but we cannot help feeling sympathy for them. Although Iris did commit villainous actions, she did possess certain heroic attributes toward the end of the novel and in a certain way she redeemed herself. However, the character that possessed no heroic attributes, but we could still relate to was not Iris, but her father, Norval Chase. We clearly see throughout the novel that Norval’s relationship dynamic with his wife, his paternity skills (or lack thereof), and his “business” decisions make him the true anti-hero if the story.
When we are first introduced to Norval, he is a religious Anglic...


... middle of paper ...


... because we know he tried to do everything for the best. We also find out that he distrusted Richard and he left all the money that was left to Laura alone. Despite his bad judgment at times, Norval proved to be un-blind at the end. He somewhat redeemed himself because he did care for his daughters.
In all, we clearly see that Norval was the true anti-hero of the story as he earned our sympathy despite being so un-heroic and making poor decisions. The relationship he had with his wife and his daughters gave us insight to how an anti-hero acts in social relationships. The sharp contrast between Iris, Norval, and Richard allow us to easily identify Norval as the antihero and who in reality was the villain. Ultimately, each individual reader dictates how he or she interprets a character, but the text provides clear-cut evidence that Norval Chase was a true antihero.

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