Posted at 01.01.2019
In 1986, The Handmaid's Story was released and became a bestseller. Written through the anti-feminist backlash of the 1980s where feminists were criticized for breaking up the traditional home, Atwood had written The Handmaid's Story in an attempt to illustrate the logical extension of anti-feminists claims such as "it is every man's right to rule supreme at home" and "a woman's place is in the house". The novel is often referred to as a feminist dystopia, because it is set in a imperfect society into the future, and addresses the misogyny of patriarchal culture.
The Handmaid's Story is set in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced america of America. The narrator is a woman called Offred who was simply delivered to the Rachael and Leah Re-Education Centre, better known as the Red Centre, to be trained as a Handmaid. All Handmaids, whose role is to keep children for the childless groups of the Republic, are trained into distribution to their new role by a group of women called Aunts; their brands are taken from them and they're tattooed whit lots. All Handmaids wear a modest and completely red outfit aside from a white, winged bonnet.
Offred lives almost all of his free time reclosed in his designated room, but sometimes she goes to the kitchen and talks with the Marthas whose role is to do housework.
A Handmaid's routine, considered necessary, is to shop everyday combined with another Handmaid. Offred is often accompanied by Ofglen -which she believes may participate a spy contingent.
All handmaids who don't have an infant are exiled to the Colonies to do hard labour with the Unwomen.
Offred feels the majority of the time just like a ghost whose presence is becoming meaningless.
She attends to a service where the Bible is read plus they tell the storyplot of Abraham.
Later that nights they have a ceremonial love-making. After that come across, The Commander packages private meetings with Offred in his review, so she commences to think about him in a far more complex way.
One day, Serena (the Commander's Partner), offers her a gathering with Nick because she suspects her spouse may be sterile. Days after, the commander dresses Offred in a gaudy halloween costume and calls for her to a secret membership for the top notch, called Jezebel's. That night Serena takes her to Nick's apartment and has sex with him. She seems ashamed by her faithlessness but she frequently goes to him.
During midsummer, all the ladies are summoned to a Salvaging. All handmaids consent the execution of three women whose crimes aren't released. Offglen hangs herself following the wedding ceremony when she views an Eye vehicle stopped before her house.
Serena discovers the outfit she used in Jezebel's and sent her away in awaiting for her punishment.
Offered wants to destroy herself but an attention van comes to take her away. She leaves under Serena's curses.
As for the Terminology, we have to say that the novel is written in a very plain one which makes the story easy to understand. There are a few features which contribute to it. Among this features is the utilization of short phrases, since the reader doesn't need to understand a dependent clause which is obviously more complex. Moreover, this type of clauses lead us to think and to recognize that were reading Offred's thoughts and so they aren't subordinated. Let's see an example of this, "But a couch, sunlight, blossoms: they are never to be dismissed. I am alive, I live, I inhale and exhale, I put my hand out, unfolded, in to the sunlight. " (p. 18)
Another feature of the novel is the large amount of flashbacks existing in it. In these Offred remembers how was her life before the Gilead republic. While Offred is keeping in mind we can separate both kind of clauses, the large ones and the brief ones. Here we've some large clauses which implies that Offred is speaking of good thoughts, since she is relaxed and thus she can coordinate and coordinate her thoughts: "I would get up early and go to the television set in my mother's study and turn through the stations. Sometimes once i couldn't find any I'd watch the Growing Souls Gospel Hour. " (p. 26)
However, she uses short senteces when she is talking about unkind recollections. Like when she actually is remembering that Weekend, when her mother lied to her: "To view her friends; she'd lied to me, Saturdays were assume to be my day. I changed away from her, sulking, to the ducks, however the flames drew me back again. " (p. 48)
As regards to the speech which looks in the novel, we can differentiate two kinds from it. Direct talk within quotation grades and direct talk without those markings. In both of these Offred symbolize the genuine words of a presenter without changing some of them.
In the novel, when the key figure, that is, the narrator is reproducing a speech which occurred in the past she uses immediate talk without quotation grades: "Yes, Ma'am, I said. Don't call me Ma'am, she said irritably. You're not a Martha. I didn't ask what. . . " (p. 25).
Whereas when Offred is repoducing a discussion which is taking place during the narration, she uses immediate speech within quotation grades: " "Under His Attention, " she says. The right farewell "Under His Eyeball, " I reply, and she provides little nod" (p. 54).
It is important observe that, although Offred's real name doesn't look explicitly in the book, there is something that leads us to thing that her name is June. At the beginning of the novel the Handmaids say five titles: "Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June. " (pag. 14), and throughout the novel June is the only person which Offred doesn't make clear tales about.
Another significative aspect related to language is that of the Narrator's viewpoint, that changes dependidng on the perspective from which the storyline is informed.
As you may already know, the Narrator is the entity within a story that tells the storyplot to the audience; most importantly, a narrator can only tell the audience things which it has experienced, unless it is omniscient. There are many types of Narrator: first, second, and third person. What we will focus on is that of First Person one, who's a character in the story, identifiable through the first personal pronouns 'I' or 'we', for example: "I am alive, I breathe (. . . )" (p. 18).
Moreover, The Handmaid's Story is a tale of autobiographical fiction, where the Narrator is its personality. And if she or he is writing a book -as it happens here in some way- we find the so-called "book in your hands". "This is what she says (. . . ). I cannot remember, exactly, because I put no way of writing it down" (p. 255): in these cases, a correlation between your Narrator and the own writer can be done, but we have to look at the levels of accurancy. Whereupon Margaret Atwood can't be recognized with Offred, logically.
The Handmaid's Tale occurs at different occasions of the life of the narrator, being Gilead the key "scenario", where she explains carefully all the places and folks she complies with. Furthermore, every single physical explanation of an area or a person comes accompanied by another explanation of her personal thoughts as well: "A seat, a desk, a light. Above (. . . ) a comfort ornament in the form of an wreath, and in the centre of computer a empty space (. . . ) There must have been a chandelier, once. They've removed whatever you could. . . " (p. 17)
Anyhow, there a wide range of flashbacks, even as we were declaring before, thanks to which we are able to know the former life Offred had, especially at the chapters called Night time; for were positioned in the point of view of today's in Gilead, into Offred's brain, and thus we can reach her memory and even her dreams. During these we meet Moira -who'll be positioned at the present of the Narrator further on-, as well as her mother, Luke and her princess. Offred also remembers her stay at the Red Centre. "I wish to be with someone. Lying during intercourse, with Luke (. . . ). The three of us" (p. 113).
In this way the Narrator achieves to go Offred emotions to ourselves; means, an identification Narrator/Reader, mainly if the audience is a woman. So, back again to what we should were discussing before, there is absolutely no affinity between your Authoress and the Narrator. Since it is us, Readers, who must understand her and condemn the coverage of Gilead Alongside Offred, we've, at the Historical Notes, professors Crescent Moon and Pieixoto analysing the story, saved in tapes. They could be regarded as a parallel Narrator, in a manner of speaking, because they provide us a finish, for some reason, to Offred's life. And a view in to the future, for this occurs two hundred years after, as we can see here: "Did our narrator reach the exterior world securely and create a new lease of life for herself? (. . . ) As all historians know, days gone by is a superb darkness, and filled up with echoes" (p. 324)
Continuing with this analysis of the second option epilogue, we find that the e book consists of tragic irony. The words and activities of the characters contradict the real situation.
This fairly brutal irony about the superficiality of the looks of the permanence of female emancipation is the center of the novel, as all dystopias stem from a concern with the removal of liberty. Atwood details on the unaggressive oppression of women that is present in European societies today, which is by all means socially accepted.
Atwood draws a parallel between the main figure and herself as a lady author. Irony are available through Atwood's use of words to hint at the significant intelligence of the female protagonist. Offred, as well as Atwood's noticeable intellect in a guy dominated world further emphasizes Hammer's declare that The Handmaid's Tale is an autobiographical text.
We can see irony along the whole book, for example in chapter two where in fact the author talks about the Marthas (women whose role was to do the housework): "Go to the Colonies, Rita said. They have the choice" (p. 20); "With all the Unwomen, and starve to fatality and Lord has learned what all? said Cora. Catch you. " (p. 20) or "Better her than me, Rita said, and I opened up the door" (p. 20)
In The New Testament gospels: Martha was 1 of 2 sisters. She dedicated herself to housework while her sister Mary sat and listened to Jesus. The irony here is that Jesus praised Mary, not Martha; however the new patriarchy has chosen Martha as the perfect.
Another irony in the book is when Offred perceives a pregnant woman in a shop. She instantly feels jealous of her. That is an irony because she actually hates that life but at the same time wants a child. She actually says: "You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself. " (p. 170)
The facts that Gilead's centre is in the Harvard University, one of the most esteemed educational companies today and that it's now closed, reveals a great irony, for University or college is symbolic of knowledge, hence vitality, choice and flexibility. Now, it is the heart of any totalitarian program that exudes conformity, ignorance and imprisonment.
It is demonstrably an irony in the fact that the Commander -one of the destroyers of the old world and all the social values attached to it- has preserved a sanctity, a territory for himself, that is part of the old world Atwood concludes The Handmaid's Story with a climactic point in time of irony, exposing the absurdity of certain educational writings that engage in weakness which misses the vital issues.
Atwood soberly demonstrates that whenever a critic or scholar avoids going for a moral or political stand about an issue of vital magnitude such as totalitarianism, they'll necessarily become an apologist for bad.
After having browse the words and analysed it from a Linguistic viewpoint, we can not oversee the fact the Handmais's Tale consists of high degrees of expressiveness which makes the novel easier to be read. Thus, the audience feels more comfortable with the "company" of the heroes and principally shows sympathy for Offred -or June, her real name-. But further the complex approach, what we would highlight the storyline itself, for it fits quite well with this close reading mention formerly.
The Handmaid's Tale talks about a not far future which could raise many debates. But, -and now we reach the point- Margaret Atwood reveals it in such a satirical manner that, aside from showing an exaggeration of the patriarcal culture, she also -and this we say in a very cautious build- satiriges feminin competitiveness; since it is women who indeed "control" and batter psichologically other women. Wives feel superior to others because men have advised them they may be privileged, and cannot see they are really just like unimportant.
This is excatly why we found Atwood so interesting: because she achieves to make us think about how wrong totalitarism is carefully, no subject who's leading.
And it is advised in such a enjoyable language as though someone would raise an elbow and started: No offence, but. . .