What Is The Effects Of The Fragmentary Writing In The Handmaid's Tale Queen Ethelburga's Essay

1451 words - 6 pages

Atwood in the her dystopian novel The Handmaid’s tale present a fragmented narrative style which allows the readers to look at the narrator- Offred’s experience from a different way. Through reading the novel, we are crossing between Offred’s perspective at the present tense at the Gilead frame as well as her memories before it. As we go through the story line, we need to piece Offred’s memories with what she is experiencing right now together, in order to the have a clear perspective on what is actually going on in the Gilead society- as that is the only resources that we are provided. It then brings the readers into looking at the role of the language played in both Atwood’s text as well as the Gilead society itself.
As Atwood writes the story of The Handmaid’s Tale in a fragmentary style, it further requires the readers to look at every component carefully, but as the readers are aware that the entire story is presented through Offred’s eye, its reliability is being questioned at the same time. Understanding whether Offred is telling the entire truth or not will shape our view towards the Gilead Regime, but also the text as a whole. The fragmentary style of how the story has being told has been given an explanation late in the novel by Offred as she admits that “there is nothing I can do to change it” about the story being “in fragments, like a body caught in crossfires or pulled apart by force”, symbolizing that even herself knows that the story is not structured a linear way, but there’s nothing that she can do about it. Offred being a Handmaid under the Gilead regime has been limited to most of the information, her circumstances define her perspectives and as she says “We have learned to see the world in gasps”, it not only means they are physically being covered by her hat, but also their view is being limited. This is shown again when Offred was guessing Luke’s outcome after their separations, as she presents varies possibilities like “I believe Luke is lying face down in a thicket, a tangle of bracken” or “ “I also believe that Luke is sitting up, in a rectangle somewhere” shows her limited perspectives towards what is happening around her in under Gilead’s suppression. While she is aware that her own circumstances will limit her perspective, she is also wiling to remind the readers of that, “I’ve filled it out for her as much as I can” on Moira’s story, ‘ This is a reconstruction. All of it is a reconstruction” and even more directly speaking, “ ‘It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact” these examples shows the importance of her being an honest narrator to the reader as she is trying her best to present the truths; but at the same time brings up problems in her content. We not only relying on her limited position in the Gilead Society or that herself is admitting that there are problems in her content, but how she presents it becomes an important factors to considered as we...


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