Complications regarding class and gender divisions are explored through techniques such as irony. The traditional use of comedia was utilised to overshadow the tragic elements of the court case. The effectiveness of the technique Deus ex Machina is challenged by satire and anachronism.
Canadian life and culture are decisively shaped by the demands of a harsh environment.
Not only are they alienated from their environment, but also they are alienated from language itself; for them, communication becomes a decoding process. To a great degree, their feelings of estrangement extend from a culture that, having reduced everything to products, threatens to consume them.
Women are particularly singled out as products, items to be decorated and sold as commodities, though men are threatened as well. Dead or dying traditions prevent their return to a past, a past most have rejected. Their present is ephemeral at best, and their future inconceivable.
Emotionally maimed, her heroines plumb their conscious and unconscious impressions, searching for a return to feeling, a means of identification with the present.
Atwood often couches their struggle in terms of a journey, which serves as a controlling metaphor for inner explorations: They can see people and places in relation to each other, not as isolated entities.
Although her heroines come to terms with themselves, they remain estranged. Her astringent prose reflects their emotional numbness; its ironic restraint reveals their wariness. Frequent contradictions suggest not only the complexity of her characters but also the antagonistic times they must survive.
By skillful juxtaposition of past and present through the use of flashbacks, Atwood evokes compelling fictional landscapes that ironically comment on the untenable state of modern men and women. There remains some hope, as her characters survive with increased understanding of their world.
Despite everything, life does go on. At the same time, Atwood undercuts the romantic literary conventions of ultimate self-realization as a plausible conclusion.
The unnamed heroine of Surfacing, accompanied by her lover Joe and a married couple named David and Anna, returns to the Canadian wilderness where she was reared in hopes of locating her missing father.
His sudden disappearance has recalled her from a city life marked by personal and professional failures that have left her emotionally anesthetized. Through these, she hopes to rediscover her lost ability to feel. In order to succeed, however, she will need to expose the fiction of her life.
As additional protection, the heroine has distanced herself from everyone. By surrounding herself with friends whose occupation of making a film significantly titled Random Samples reveals their rootlessness, the heroine seeks to escape the consequences of her actions. Indeed, she describes herself both as a commercial artist, indicating her sense of having sold out, and as an escape artist.However, Atwood’s prose and poetry contain common thematic material and stylistic choices.
Her novels and short stories are poetic in style, and her poems maintain a strong narrative strain. A short Margaret Atwood biography describes Margaret Atwood's life, times, and work.
Also explains the historical and literary context that influenced The Handmaid’s Tale. Summary and Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale: The Book By Margaret Atwood (Book Summary Series 3) - Kindle edition by Book Summary Series.
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Speaking about the novel, Atwood has remarked that Zenia is the equivalent of the fiction writer, a liar, a trickster who creates stories to captivate her audience. Alias Grace The novel combines gothic elements, social commentary, and conventions of nineteenth century fiction to tell its story.
Tags: 20th century literature, dystopia, language, morality, North America, oppression, politics, power, women. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Book Analysis) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Book Analysis) Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide.
A novel is a long, fictional narrative which describes intimate human experiences. The novel in the modern era usually makes use of a literary prose style. The development of the prose novel at this time was encouraged by innovations in printing, and the introduction of cheap paper in the 15th century..
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