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

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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. ...read more.

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. ...read more.

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. ...read more.

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