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What is the Significance of the Birth Sequence in the Middle of the Novel?

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  • Essay length: 793 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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GCSE Margaret Atwood

The first 200 words of this essay...

What is the Significance of the Birth Sequence

in the Middle of the Novel?

The birth sequence highlights many of the important aspects and themes of the story.

The fact that it is situated in the centre of the novel emphasises how the entire tale revolves around the themes of reproduction and conception which is why it is important that this sequence plays a key role in the novel. Putting it in this place enables the reader to 'get into' the story which will add more weight to this key issue.

In the lead up to this sequence Offred is eating an egg which is symbolic of fertility; the fact that conception is difficult is accentuated by the underlying metaphors which stress the despondency Offred feels about her situation, "If I had an egg what more could I want?".

The harshness in the description of her eating the egg adds to the sense that becoming pregnant is difficult and the process unpleasant.

When the "Birthmobile" arrives Offred's excitement is emphasised by the shortening of the phrases and the way the sentences are divided by commas which adds pace to the passage.

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