What a timely analogue for the horrible current political climate the first season was!
Offred uses flashbacks combined with limited hindsight to fill us in on the details which lead up to this present, and this has the advantage for her as a narrator of, in effect, having a double hindsight: This complex narrative structure ensures that the reader is forced to work a little harder for comprehension.
For instance, in the first chapter, Offred is in the gymnasium where women like her have been brought to be trained as handmaids we only find this out in later chaptersand this gym is used as a point of reference for the pre-Gilead world. At this stage, Offred does not explain how or why she and the others are where they are.
I remember that yearning, for something that was always about to happen and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then, in the small of the back, or out back, in the parking lot, or in the television room with the sound turned down and only the pictures flickering over lifting flesh.
We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an afterthought, as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk.
The yearning for the future which characterises youth is combined with both an anxiety about what shape it will take and a sense that as they move towards it, particularly in the realisation of their sexuality, reality never quite meets expectation.
The eagerness to embrace the future is combined with a fear of its realisation, an effect that is cleverly transferred to the present at the semi-colon when the gym ceases to be a place of past yearning and becomes a venue of some sort of very regimented present.
At this stage of the story, however, the narrator could quite easily be talking about a summer camp in her senior year-by which stage she would have had enough experience both to have felt the yearnings and to have experienced some of their realisations.
Obviously, we now realise, the inhabitants of the gym are prisoners of some sort. Something could be exchanged, we thought, some deal made, some trade-off, we still had our bodies.
In the space of the first two pages of the novel, then, Offred has established the complex narrative structure which will characterise the rest of the novel-an account of her present situation, mixed with nostalgic hindsight, tempered by an anxiety for the future.
This image is a powerful one: The palimpsest suggests the doubly fictional nature of the tale-the narrative stance she adopts, as mediator of her own experiences is nothing more than a convenient fiction.Tom Gilchrist Handmaid’s Tale – Classic Modern Fiction October 5th 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Margaret Atwood section.
Of particular interest in Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" ()--to date the best English Canadian SF novel--are the series of ritual events, the symbolism of the oval hallway mirror, and its generic status as a particular kind of what is termed a "Contextual Dystopia.".
The Handmaid’s Tale. Themes Characters Narrative techniques Language and Imagery. Themes.
Control and Resistance Survival Responsibility. Hulu The Handmaid's Tale Showrunner Bruce Miller says author Margaret Atwood is "still the mother of this series" — even after they've passed their source material.
A one-of-a-kind tour de force, Margaret Atwood's futuristic The Handmaid's Tale refuses categorization into a single style, slant, or genre.
Rather, it blends a number of approaches and formats in a radical departure from predictable sci-fi or thriller fiction or feminist literature. Paramount to. Margaret Atwood's Modest Proposal The Handmaid's Tale ' IVIargaret Atwood begins her novel The Handmaid's Tale with two dedications and three epigraphs: a passage from Genesis, a passage from Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal," and a Sufi proverb.
This abundance of preliminary matter establishes a frame through which we read.