What impressions have you formed of the narrator? How has Atwood created

What impressions have you formed of the narrator? How has Atwood created

Length: 1209 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
What impressions have you formed of the narrator? How has Atwood created
these impressions? Give detailed evidence for your answer - The Handmaid's
Tale

What impressions have you formed of the narrator? How has Atwood
created these impressions? Give detailed evidence for your answer

The narrator of 'The Handmaid's Tale' is a woman who calls herself
Offred. This is not her real name, but a name that she has been given
by the particular husband and wife she is staying with. This makes the
narrator seem mysterious, and Atwood creates this impression by not
telling us the narrator's real name.

From the very start of the novel, Offred has given me the impression
that she is quite well educated by the way she speaks and expresses
things 'like the place in a face where the eye has been taken out'.
This type of simile, which she uses also, gives us the impression that
she isn't very happy about her surroundings because she is using
violent expressions and associating things, which are supposed to be
quite pleasant to things that sound very disturbing and of a violent
nature. 'Clouds like headless sheep', normally clouds are associated
with bright fluffy marshmallows and pleasant things like that, but the
narrator sees the clouds in the sky as disturbing images. All of the
way through the book she uses simile's like this to compare normal
looking objects or people. 'The smile of blood' is the phrase she uses
in chapter six, when she is describing the men, which are hanging on
the Wall. The phrase 'The smile of blood' is referring to a stain of
blood which has seeped through the white cloth which is covering up
the mans face, and she is saying it appears to look like a smile which
a child has drawn. This seems disturbing because smiles are meant to
represent happiness in people, and she turns that happiness sinister
with saying it is a smile made of blood. Also this phrase makes us
think about why it would be a smile, rather than and unhappy face,
because of him being dead. These violent associations certainly
indicates to us that the narrator is unhappy, and that is exactly why
Atwood created that quality about her, so that we know that Offred is
not happy about the situation she is in at all, and that she relates
to violence a lot of the time because she is used to seeing violence
going on around her.

At the very start of the novel the narrator was continuously slipping
in and out of the present tense, she would often talk in the past

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"What impressions have you formed of the narrator? How has Atwood created." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=98858>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Psychological Journey of the Narrator in Atwood’s Surfacing Essay

- The Psychological Journey of the Narrator in Atwood’s Surfacing       In Surfacing, a novel by Margaret Atwood, the narrator undertakes three basic journeys: a physical quest to search for her lost father, a biographical journey into her past, and most importantly a psychological journey. The psychological journey allows the narrator to reconcile her past and ultimately leads to the conclusion of the physical journey. In this psychological voyage into her innerself, the narrator, while travelling from cognizant rational reasoning to subconscious dissociated reality progresses through three stages....   [tags: Atwood Surfacing Essays]

Research Papers
1991 words (5.7 pages)

Atwood's Framing of the Story in "Alias Grace" Essay

- One of the main themes of the postmodern movement includes the idea that history is only what one makes of it. In other words, to the postmodern philosopher history is only a story humans frame and create about their past (Bruzina). Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is an excellent exploration of this postmodern idea. Through use of postmodern writing styles and techniques, Atwood explores how the framing of a story influences its meaning. By mixing different writing mediums such as prose, poetry, period style letters, and historical documents such as newspaper articles, Atwood achieves a complex novel that explores a moment of history in a unique way....   [tags: Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood, ]

Research Papers
1878 words (5.4 pages)

The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

- The story The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood illustrates a different type of dystopia from most other classic dystopian novel. It creates a world where women are used either for sexual reproduction or as a way to control other women who will be used for the same purpose. Attwood tells the story of America after the Gilead regime has taken over and sets things “in order” following a long period of anarchy which is referred to as the “time before” (Atwood, 5). The Gilead regime has taken control of the direr straights that the country has entered with reference to the birth rate....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Research Papers
1442 words (4.1 pages)

The Role of First Impressions when we Meet Someone Essay

- Why do job candidate wear a suit for a job interview. Why do defense attorneys have their clients dress neatly and get a haircut before they are seen before a Jury. First impressions are considered to be essential. Many crucial decisions involve forming impressions about another person. Decisions about the ability of prospective job candidates, judgments about the suitability of expert financial advisors, and even choices between alternate dating partners all involve processing information about other people....   [tags: impressions, jugdement, personality]

Research Papers
1396 words (4 pages)

Theory and Research on Impression Formation Essay

- Why do job candidate wear a suit for a job interview. Why do defense attorneys have their clients dress neatly and get a haircut before they are seen before a Jury. First impressions are considered to be essential. Many crucial decisions involve forming impressions about another person. Decisions about the ability of prospective job candidates, judgments about the suitability of expert financial advisors, and even choices between alternate dating partners all involve processing information about other people....   [tags: first impression, asch experiemnts, impressions]

Research Papers
1765 words (5 pages)

Margaret Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay example

- Many texts that were published from different authors have introduced topics that can be related in today’s society, but Margaret Atwood’s creation called, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, gives voice to the thoughts and revolves around the narrator Offred, a woman whose rights have been deprived due to political issues. However, the information shared by Offred to the reader to the text is not reliable for the reason that she only touches upon her own perspective. Through the text, Atwood depicted what the United States of America would be in the future based on the actions of humanity during 1980’s....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Research Papers
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Margaret Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale

- Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale paints a picture of the United States’ future. The nation has shifted into a religiously focused patriarchy with a low birth rate. The pressure to reproduce creates a harsh, rule-bound environment. The clothing, in particular, becomes very symbolic to the people in the Republic of Gilead. In modern day America, hospitals use colors to symbolize gender of newborns but Atwood’s future takes it a step further to say that the color of women’s dresses and men’s uniforms differentiate their designated roles....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Research Papers
1070 words (3.1 pages)

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Essay examples

- Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Chapter nine opening section two of the novel is mainly recalling the last chapters and about the narrator rediscovering herself, surfacing the truth. In section one we see the narrator talking in the present tense in a very descriptive form, outlining the novel. However in section two we see her talking in the past tense demonstrating the stories she is telling. The separation between the human and the natural world and the narrator’s struggle with language most directly portrays the novel's dualities....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Research Papers
1712 words (4.9 pages)

Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- Atwood's Attention to Words in The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale illustrates that dictatorship can be established by creating a state of fear once language controls are instituted. As a tradition to dystopian novels, Atwood has drawn much attention to the meaning of words and the significance of names, as well as the prohibition for women to read or write, in order to portray Gilead as a successful totalitarian state. Atwood is trying to make the point that in a dystopian world, language can be the power....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Research Papers
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Intertwined Themes of Margaret Atwood's Dancing Girls Essay

- The Intertwined Themes of Margaret Atwood's Dancing Girls     Dancing Girls is a collection of Margaret Atwood's short stories. Each story captures a different aspect of society, different people of different ages, culture and status, with different attitudes, emotions and behavior; all in different locations and life circumstances. Yet there are many connections between the stories and these links are primarily found in Atwood's portrayal of women. As Atwood says: By and large my novel's center on women...None of them are about miners in the mines, seamen on the sea, convicts in the jail, the boys in the backroom, the locker rooms at the football game…How come....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Dancing Girls Essays]

Research Papers
2149 words (6.1 pages)

tense about certain memories that she was remembering of her former
life 'I once had a garden. I can remember the smell of the turned
earth'. We get the impression that she does that because she is
longing for the past again because she hates the present 'How I used
to despise such talk. Now I long for it. At least it was talk. An
exchange, of sorts.'

Atwood uses narrative techniques to help us feel that we are inside
Offred's head. For instance, when Offred has flash backs of the past,
of her former life, she often talks in the way that we already know
what she is going on about, in her use of pronouns. Offred never says
the name of her child, but just uses the word 'She' and immediately we
all know that she is going on about her daughter. Another clever way
Atwood does this is by the way Offred tells us about her senses, what
she smells, what she sees, what she hears, what things feel like, so
that we know every exact detail of what Offred is seeing, hearing
smelling and feeling 'The tulips along the border are redder than
ever, opening, no longer wine cups, but chalices, thrusting themselves
up, but to what end?' Also in this sensory description, she uses a
sexual innuendo; 'thrusting' is a type of word, which can be described
for the actions of sex. This could relate to how she was feeling
towards someone else who was there at the time, Nick, in chapter
eight. She uses this word because I get the impression that she has
sexual feelings towards this man, and she doesn't want to come
straight out and word it because she knows she will get into trouble
for those sorts of feelings, and she knows that she is being watched
all of the time. We find out later in the novel that she does actually
have strong feeling towards Nick, and that he has strong feelings
towards her, but I think she feels guilty because she is still in love
with Luke 'I want to see what can be seen, of him, take him in,
memorize him, save him up so I can live on the image, later I ought to
have done that with Luke, paid more attention, to the details, the
moles and scars'

Another impression, which I have, of Offred is that she is in pain by
the loss of her former life and that she is scared of what's going to
happen next. In chapter seven she is starting to believe that if it
was a story that she was telling then she could control the ending,
and so she wishes that it was just a story, and wishes that the
nightmare would just be over 'I would like to believe this is a story
I'm telling if it's a story I'm telling, then I have control over the
ending'. The whole idea of her wishing it were a story is giving the
impression that she is hoping that one day she will get a listener to
her story, and so she is trying desperately to create or construct a
listener 'I'll pretend you can hear me'. The reason it is a listener,
and not a reader is because we find out later on in the novel, that
her 'story' was actually recorded onto tape, because she had nothing
to write on, because of course writing was forbidden.

Offred seems to be quite sane through the entire novel, and she
manages to not let on that she hasn't been brainwashed like the rest
of the women there. She manages her private thoughts well, and she
controls her time. This is where she preserves her memories and
thoughts of her former life and the thoughts that she has of the
situation she is in now, for the night times, because she believes
that night is the only time when nobody is watching her, and when she
is free to think and become emotional if she wishes to. Whereas in the
daytime she puts on a public face, and acts as though she is a
believer. She manages these faces well and never gets them mixed up. I
feel that Atwood has created the narrator to be level headed for a
reason, I think that if the narrator was a little on the edge, then
readers would not be able to relate to her and may just think that she
is just making it up. This way, with the narrator being sane, it makes
the story more 'believable' and more impressionable.
Return to 123HelpMe.com