With today’s novels, authors tend to include characters that readers can easily relate to in different situations. In the Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood incorporates isolation in her writing to help the reader acknowledge and empathize with her characters by using different types of isolation. An examination of the novel reveals that characters experience physical isolation, mental isolation and emotional isolation. Characters experiencing isolation can really give a chance for the reader to connect with them and makes reading a more pleasurable experience.
In any novel, a character will experience physical isolation sometime during the plot. To begin with, Toby’s (the protagonist) parents’ passing away creates a sense of physical isolation for her. This is true when the narrator states that Toby would be “left to be tossed out onto the streets.” (Atwood, 27). An examination of this quote reveals that Toby is the only person left in her family and realizes that she is now orphaned. This shows that she is physically isolated because there is nobody else left in her family who would take care of her after they are all wiped out by an epidemic. Since there is nobody left to take care of her, she is forced to grow up on her own and take care of herself since nobody else is there to help her. The character’s experience helps the reader empathize with them and makes the reader think about what it is or would be like to lose a parent, and what they would do in that situation. Orphans could empathize with the character more because they would know what it feels like being physically isolated and living alone while missing loved ones that they are used to seeing every day. It would create a feeling ...
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...n empathize with the characters from being forced to do things they do not want to, having different opinions on what or how they want to do things and trying to forget past experiences by isolating themselves from them.
To sum up, in the story The Year of the Flood written by Margaret Atwood, the author incorporates different types of isolation that characters experience to help the reader with them. These types of isolation include physical, emotional and mental isolation which gives the reader a better understanding of the characters’ situation and helps them empathize with the character as a result. The author including this gives the reader a chance to fall in the characters’ shoes and think about what life would be like as the character. All in all, readers can empathize with characters from the novel with the help of the types of isolation the characters face.
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