Analysis Of The Handmaid's Tale

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The Handmaid’s Tale Journal #1 Brontee Forfar I decided to do some research on the author, Margaret Atwood. She’s Canadian, which is awesome, and currently resides in Toronto. She has written over forty pieces of poetry, children literature, fiction and nonfiction. Another fact I found, is that her work has been published in over forty languages including: Icelandic, Estonian, Farsi and Japanese. Margaret is a very accomplished woman, and I think it shows in her writing and the beautiful descriptions she supplies. I have come across a few words that I have not heard before, for example ‘palimpsest’, ‘litanies’ and ‘jubilant’. What I liked about these words, other than I learned new words, was that Atwood used them in an effective manner. She didn’t just say ‘Oh look I know all these fancy words’ and then threw them in; rather, she used them in a thoughtful way, adding to the story. For example, “Nevertheless we are jubilant, it’s a victory, for all of us. We’ve done it” (Atwood 159). ‘Jubilant’ is expressing happiness or joy, and I thought that her word choice was very eloquent and proves the kind of writer she is. I decided to read the Handmaid’s Tale, because it is known as a classic, and I have been enjoying it thus far. It is a little harder to read, because there is a lot of descriptive language, as well as some words, I am not used to. Margaret Atwood describes memories vividly, so it is not simply Offred’s memories, but the reader’s as well, “Dances would have been held there; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail...” (Atwood 3.) In this memory Atwood uses the word ‘palimpsest’, and because I do not know what it means, I decided to look it up. It is “a... ... middle of paper ... ...t, “But whose fault was it? Aunt Helena says, holding one plump finger. Her fault, her fault, her fault, we chant in unison” (Attwood 88.) This contradicts the beliefs of feminists, which is that rape is never the victim’s fault, and provocation is never a justification. The blaming that goes on is effective, because finally Janine gives in by saying, “It was my fault, she says. It was my own fault. I led them on. I deserved the pain” (Attwood 89.) This scene shows that not only in Gilead’s society are men against women, but women are turning against women, because the Aunts will punish those who do not punish the victims. Now, in our society, as I’ve said, we’ve been improving. However, there are still some people who, like the Handmaids and Aunts, believe that rape is the victim’s fault, and if they provoked, or wore provocative clothes, then they deserved it.
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