Postmodernism in art and literature includes many aspects that define a novel or piece of writing to be “postmodern”. A postmodern novel often leaves the reader ambiguous to some of the most obvious forms of literature, but this ambiguity serves a purpose to the postmodernism in the metafictional story that embeds the theme or the purpose of the novel. One of the greatest examples of postmodern fiction/literature would be The Handmaids Tale by Margret Atwood. Certain aspects of this novel allow this novel to be characterized as “postmodern”, this novel was also written in time when postmodernism was just on a moral zenith in people’s consciousness. The main narrative from of this novel includes aspects of an unknown ending that questions the main purpose of the plot, the style in which narrative fictional novel is written is often questioned by the novel itself which is self-reflexive on the reader’s intellect, hence these two aspects of postmodernism in the novel in turn aid a theme that is ambiguous in it’s nature. This postmodernism approach in The Handmaids tale leaves the reader ambiguous intellectually because of the manipulative form of the narrative which tends to challenge the reader’s thought but also engage the reader into the novel, leaving the reader to think about the theme.
Handmaids Tale, has a certain form of postmodernism which leaves the reader ambiguous towards the end, the reader is left to think about the whole plot of the story. The ending of Handmaids tale is not common as other narrative fiction, which sets it apart from other novels which serves a theme and purpose but not so interactively and thoughtful as Handmaids tale. Atwood leaves the end...
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... the theme while relating it to her/himself. The theme of the story is manifested through the ambiguity the plot embeds, questioning and challenging the moral beliefs the reader knows. The postmodern aspects this novel that construct the meaning are, the unusual ending that forces the reader to question and interpret the purpose of the ending, piecing together the structure of the narrative that constantly interacts with the reader to question the actual meaning of narrative fiction, and finally using all that knowledge to understand the main theme and meaning of the novel through its postmodern aspects that exhibit some kind of ambiguity for the reader. Margret Atwood uses these postmodern characteristics as a base or part of the novel, manipulating the form to create ambiguity in the novel’s purpose, form and meaning ultimately for the reader to realize the theme.
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