Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3

How does Atwood use language to convey the narrator(TM)s change in emotional state?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

How does Atwood use language to convey the narrator's change in emotional state? After reading 'Surfacing' it is clear to see that as the story progresses, the Surfacer has undergone a transformation that has seen her become a more complex character and therefore it has become more difficult for the reader to interpret her thoughts and actions. Her emotional state has some what deteriorated since the start and the sense of madness that the reader is now beginning to become wary of, seems to stem from her inability to cope with the standard roles of women which have been constructed in society and she becomes increasingly secluded from all the features of life as she attempts to serve as a human, a wife, a mother and a sexual being. Ultimately it's the complexity of the language that helps to convey the Surfacer's change in emotional state and as she is the only narrative voice that the reader can listen to it means that we too, become submerged in her psychological transformation and become able to sense a change in emotion and thought.

Middle

It is clear to see that the Surfacer is now becoming trapped in her own paranoid state of mind and the fact that she is beginning to get signs wrong shows her now constant unreliability and it reflects the narrator's change both physically and mentally. Another way the audience can sense the change in the narrator's emotional state is through the increasing complexity of her stream of consciousness. The complexity of this feature stems from her constant flickering between ideas, flashbacks and situations. As a result of this it is very difficult to establish what is happening as we also become lost in her mind. The themes and ideas she becomes lost in are increasingly becoming weakly linked and so the overall cohesion of the story is severely dented and leaves the reader looking for answers into why we are witnessing this decline in emotional state. If you take into consideration the chronology of her thoughts and childhood experiences it is clear to see that the images have intensified quite significantly.

Conclusion

to create an overpowering tone, and by also using the onomatopoeic word 'shatter', it gives the sentence overall more intensity and it more importantly it issues out a more powerful impact on the reader. The violent nature of the Surfacer is made very explicit here and it is because of Atwood's linguistic skill that the reader is able to pick up on this particular point. As the story progresses it becomes more evident to the reader that the feeling of entrapment is one of the important focal points of the story and it is ultimately contributing the Surfacer's demise. Her increasing alienation from society eventually leads to her making more frequent references to animals which suggests that in order to survive she has to be an animal as they are more at peace with nature. Atwood uses personification to show how she is comparable to animals as 'they had no spokesman'. This particular quote shows her detachment from the surroundings she once called 'home', her detachment from the people around her and her detachment from the real motive behind her journey.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. English Literature Assessment Lucy Honeychurch and Stevens are two characters who represent the ...

    While Steven's England of the 1930's ridiculed American civilization and politics, the new world England seems to take on their concepts, creating a separation of two very diverse viewpoints in 50's post-war England. Stevens lack of ability of "bantering" displays his in old-fashioned values and judgments.

  2. Critical analysis of the opening chapters of Waterland.

    The penultimate paragraph in Chapter 1 acts as a build up to the dramatic end - the detailing of the Leem's "unceasing booty of debris" leads into the final paragraph where we learn of the discovery of Freddie Parr's body (Indeed this is quite intentional as, at the beginning of the last paragraph, Swift begins, "And thus it was...").

  1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. In this essay, I will be ...

    Furthermore, Roy employs several forms of short, simplistic sentences which are conspicuously used by children to emphasize Estha's youth: "Past the glue. Past the glue - brush." In this quotation, instead of sentences being connected via connectives, they have been placed in two different lines and the starting words are also the same.

  2. Melina Marchetta's "Looking for Alibrandi": Concept of change and changing perspective

    This change in perspective is also shown through the annual âTomato Day.â This is an expression of the Alibrandi familyâs heritage. Initially Josephine is ashamed of her familyâs yearly ritual and would hate it if anybody found out about it, but in the end states that she will always take

  1. How Effectively Does Frayn Use Barbara Berrill in 'Spies'?

    audience, and although Barbara doesn't have to power to make Stephen quite see the truth about his friend, she does plant the idea of this in his head 'like germs' which is quite satisfying to the audience that perhaps he is not being so naïve as he seems and can maybe comprehend a little more what is going on.

  2. Handmaid Tale by Margret Atwood

    She starts to question the meaning of their meetings. Chapter 26 * Once again the ceremony comes up, but now Offred is emotionally involved and is afraid that Serena might find out that she is more than a handmaid to her husband. When the commander tries to touch Offred's face during the ceremony she is afraid and moves her face to the other side.

  1. The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin paints a vivid picture of a ...

    Mallardâs thought process. Nostalgia could be seen in âthe notes of a distant song.â Spring is another form of symbolism represented. Mrs. Mallard welcomes the new spring life. This symbolizes a new beginning for her. Spring represents life and that is what Mrs.

  2. Explore the different forms of haunting in Toni Morrisons Beloved.

    has released his emotions and memories; before it was simply an account of events but after it becomes much more personal. Also, when Beloved is first introduced, she is clearly very sick; she describes her legs as heavy and suffers from what is described as sounding like 'croup'.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.